SWW and the National Will Register

SWW is very pleased to announce that you can now Register a Will or Search for a Will here. SWW in association with the National Will Register now provide SWW members and their clients with full Will Registration and Will Search facilities.

The National Will Register has registered millions of Wills and on peak days 1 Will is registered every 2 seconds. On a daily basis their Will search prevents estates being distributed on an assumed intestacy basis and avoids a superseded Will being used.

Their services are now widely recognised as best practice, and important to the SWW and their members who are focused to protect the client. With this in mind SWW now provides its members with free Will registrations* for their clients

The Society of Will Writers is a non-profit making self-regulatory organisation which seeks to protect the public and serve the interests of those men and women who are active professionals in our field.

The Society has set itself two main tasks: To promote to the public at large the real need and sense in having a valid Will; and to act as a self-regulatory body by vetting practitioners through stringent membership requirements, proficiency standards and on-going training.

The availability of these services ensure that SWW clients can now be protected through the provision of services provided by SWW in association with the National Will Register.


The SWW are partnered with Certainty the National Will Register and members are invited to register the location of their client’s Wills with Certainty in order that they can be found when they are needed. The SWW has a dedicated platform www.willsearchsww.co.uk where you can search the Certainty database.


If you would like to register your database, contact Certanty or the SWW and we will be able to assist.


If you store directly with The National Will Archive then you can opt for your clients Wills to be automatically stored with Certanty and we do the work. Just send your Wills in with the prescribed Custody Registration Form.


  • “The National Will Register found my Grandfather’s Will which was written 34 years ago” D Thomas
  • “It was vitally important I found my mother’s Will, the National Will Register found it” S Bradley
  • “The National Will Register gave us the peace of mind that we had done everything possible to find the last Will” K Adams
  • “Not only did the National Will Register find the current Will but also an older one” A Wills and Probate Solicitor
  • “Thank you National Will Register, Will search performed, Will found in 48 hourss” B Taylor



Friday 10th May 2019

Protect your firm, Protect your clients, Protect your Will Bank

This month Certainty the National Will Register will be hosting their own expert webinar in conjunction with Free Will Registration Month. The webinar will be on Thursday 16th May 2019 at 12.00pm, titled ‘Protect your firm, Protect your clients, Protect your Will Bank’.

May 2019 sees the launch of the first ever Free Will Registration Month. For one month only, Certainty the National Will Register are providing law firms and Will Writing professionals with the opportunity to register their Will Bank completely free of charge.

For over a decade, Certainty the National Will Register has worked with thousands of law firms and Will Writing professionals to build a National Will Register and National Will Search Service. Today, over 8 million Wills are in the registration system which continues to rise daily.

In this special webinar, presented by Astrid Bowser, Director at Certainty the National Will Register, will explore the current legal landscape and the benefits that Will Registration can bring for a Will Writing professional and their clients.

Astrid will be explaining why you will receive more probate work if your Wills are registered, why you will retain more clients if your Wills are registered and why executors and solicitors are at risk of an unknown Will and how Will registration removes these risks.

Webinar agenda:

  • The part The National Will Register has to play in the Will writing industry
  • What is a Will Registration?
  • Why should you register your clients’ Wills?
  • Analysis of case studies
  • Will Registration and GDPR compliance
  • How to take advantage of Free Will Registration Month

To register for our free one hour webinar, you can register here.

Wednesday 13th March 2019

Have you registered your Wills yet?

Are you a member of the Society of Will Writers? Well the good news is that if you are, you can register all of the Wills you have written to date and all the Wills you write in the future absolutely free of charge.

Registering your Wills with Certainty the National Will Register brings many benefits to you and your clients and many SWW members have already done so.

The benefits to you are:

  • Receive more probate work/commissions fee from the Wills you write
  • Help ensure that your clients’ wishes are fulfilled because the Will is registered and can be identified after a death and in any eventuality
  • Provide your client with an additional service that they need and want
  • Will Registration enhances client loyalty whilst securing probate work

Important Facts

  • The National Will Register® is used by thousands of solicitors and Will writing firms and the public
  • 8 million Will registrations within the system
  • It is proven that Will writing companies prevent themselves from losing probate work or referral fees because the Will was registered
  • It is proven to prevent an estate being distributed using a revoked Will or the estate being treated as intestate

Registering your Wills is a quick and easy process so contact us today on 0330 100 3660 or email [email protected] to receive your free Will Registrations.

Thursday 28th February 2019

Solicitors, Will writing professionals and their clients: easy prey and rich pickings

A recent webinar hosted by the National Will Register addressed the risks Solicitors and Will writing professionals exposed themselves to when communicating via email with clients.

A key point of relevance in relation to the hot topic of GDPR is that many such communications will contain sensitive information and, in some cases, even includes confidential financial details!

By way of example, email regularly forms part of the communications dealing with a house purchase, personal tax affairs, money transfers and a whole range of other transactions where the content can be used to commit a crime against a client.

Exposing clients to such risk can involve significant sums of money or even contribute to the theft of an individual’s identity, all of which can have a lasting effect on the victim.

We all understand the effects of a house burglary or the inconvenience of a car theft. Victims of such crimes are likely to experience long lasting psychological effects. Online crime is relatively new but continues to increase given the sophisticated way in which such criminals operate. Sadly awareness and action to prevent such attacks has not increased at the same rate. The fact of the matter is that cyber criminals are watching and see solicitors, Will writing professionals and their clients, as rich pickings and in a lot of cases easy prey because of the lack of protection deployed!

2017 saw a 20% rise in cyber-attacks on law firms and increasingly hackers are targeting solicitors therefore leading to further increases in the amount clients are losing to online fraud. Shocking stories about lay person’s emails being intercepted by hackers have hit the headlines with up to nearly £1 million being stolen in one case.

The SRA receive around 40 reports of confidentiality breaches each month and urge firms to do more to protect themselves and their clients from this increasing threat.

The simple fact of the matter is that preventing cybercrime is far easier to achieve than preventing a car being stolen or a house being burgled.

Paul Holland from Beyond Encryption, who are leaders in ‘Identity Secured Communication®’, launched its world class solution ‘Mailock – Digital Recorded Delivery®’’ in 2018. Holland is a British tech entrepreneur renowned for pioneering solutions to drive the digital world.

Paul comments: “We wanted to provide a secure solution for sectors that needed to protect clients where the consequences of inaction can be immeasurable. The professional services sector has come under significant pressure from their regulators and professional bodies where reputation is built on the professional advice they provide. Losing this to the consequences of cybercrime must be avoided at all costs.”

The ‘Mailock’ system affords its users an unrivalled level of control and audit unique in the marketplace whilst affording protection to the end user through its patent pending technology.

Paul explains: “Mailock is unique and that’s why it has been so well adopted. Our primary goal was to deliver a system that could be installed easily in seconds by the end user, and thereafter protects every email and document a user sends without having to deviate from normal process or remembering to act! Of equal importance was that Mailock integrated seamlessly with a users existing mail account interface so no change was needed, and all this without the excessive costs and implications associated with some solutions.”

An imperative part of the mix is that Mailock allows the user to send electronic documents or emails which can only be opened by the intended recipient, even if the recipient’s computer is open and unattended, it can only be opened by the intended recipient.

Additionally because of the nature of certain professions, audited proof of delivery can be essential in understanding documents have been received, Mailock provides ‘Digital Recorded Delivery®’, providing an audit trail of receipt and opening of a communication.

An Unknown Risk to the Estate?

Potentially unbeknown to a Will writing professional distributing an estate or who has already done so, people known to the deceased will undertake their own investigations if they feel something is untoward surrounding the way in which the estate is being, or was, distributed.

In 2018 there was an increase in the lay person using Certainty Will Search. In January and February 2018, Will finds following a Certainty Will Search by a lay person hit a record high at 45%.

The Certainty Will Search team took feedback from 100 members of the public who had undertaken a Certainty Will Search to understand their reasons for searching:

  1. a) 29% believed a Will did not exist and that the estate was intestate but as a PR wanted to safeguard their position by searching

In the case of a) this equated to 29 individuals searching for a Will that they did not think existed. The Certainty Will Search found eleven Wills for PRs who say they were adamant that a Will had not been written.

  1. b) 24% held a Will but as an Executor wanted to ensure that a later Will did not exist and appear after they had distributed the estate

In the case of b) this equated to 24 individual searches by Executors who believed they held the last Will, and had undertaken a search purely as a precautionary and comfort measure. Six later Wills were found.

  1. c) 4% were trying to discover if a Will existed because they felt the estate should not have been treated as intestate or the Will used to obtain the grant of probate was not the last Will.

In the case of c) one searcher states that they believed a revoked Will had been used that prevented them from receiving certain possessions from the deceased that held sentimental value for them.

It is becoming increasingly common, as a standard part of practice, to check if a Will or later Will exists as a first step in distributing an estate. If a Will writing professional does not recommend or undertake this practice then it is also becoming increasingly common for the lay person to search themselves.

Mathew L, lay person commented: “We were not happy with the way in which my mother’s uncle’s estate was being distributed by another member of our family. We used a National Will Register search and a later Will was discovered. We were initially contacted by the solicitor who held the Will and my mother was asked to provide a death certificate and identification. The found Will left a gift to my mother which fortunately she then received as part of the probate.”

For further information on the types of searches you can carry out please contact us on 0330 100 3660 or email [email protected].

Title: Making notifying the banks of a death easier for your clients’: An update on the newly launched service from the British Banking Association/UK Finance
Presenter: Stuart Simpson, Equiniti
Date: Wednesday 30th January 2019
Time: 12.00pm
Link: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1226030&tp_key=de1d4e9ec6

We are delighted to welcome Stuart Simpson from Equiniti who will presenting the next instalment of Certainty Expert Webinars.

Stuart Simpson will be giving an update on the newly launched service and how it is helping those dealing with a deceased estate and financial affairs.


  • Introduction to Equiniti
  • The Death Notification Service at 6 months
  • Future development and expansion plans
  • Search and register updates under one roof
  • Speeding up share sales

Join our webinar on Wednesday 30th January 2018 at 12.00pm for our hour long Certainty Expert Webinar.

Solved in 60 Seconds – Lost Will, closed law firm, right recommendation

Mr Robinson comments: “When my uncle passed away, we were holding a copy of a 1989 Will. Due to lots of family dynamics and circumstances changing since then, we wanted to check that there wasn’t a later Will before applying for probate. If this was the last Will we also needed to locate the original – the firm who wrote the Will were no longer in existence and we had no idea whether it even existed anymore, let alone where it might be.”

Mr Robinson continues: “My own search started with the local bank branch and the 2 solicitors in the village where my uncle lived – none of those had any information as to the whereabouts of my Uncle’s Will, however they recommended I contacted Certainty the National Will Register, and thought they might be able to help.

I had no reason to suspect that the Will might have been registered, so I opted to search for both registered and unregistered Wills.

Within 24 hours I received a call from a solicitor advising me that they were holding a file for my deceased Uncle, and made an appointment for me to visit them; they asked me to bring along a death certificate and some identification.”

Mr Robinson continues: “The Will that was discovered was the original 1989 Will, confirming the copy that we held was my uncle’s last Will solving 2 problems that we faced – was the 1989 Will the last? Would we have to prove the copy?”

Certainty does not disclose the existence of a Will – when a search takes place it provides the searcher’s details to the holder of the Will. The firm then verifies the searcher’s entitlement in order to discuss the Will with the searcher.

60 seconds after the Certainty Will Search, Certainty the National Will Register notified the solicitor that held the Will. 24 hours after being notified the solicitor contacted the searcher to verify their entitlement to discuss the Will. The searcher had been searching for 22 days before using a Certainty Will Search to solve the mystery.

Finding unknown, later and lost Wills each and every day.

For further information on Will registration and the types of searches you can carry out please contact us on 0330 100 3660 or email [email protected].