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Postby junkers » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:12 pm

I have just read the article ('Letters', page 6 and 7, in the February 2020 magazine) regarding open access to recent wills being available. I agree with a lot of what Anthony Morgan has said, in fact when the Probate Service issued a consultation document some years ago I told them that it seemed wrong to me that people who had received money might be targeted by criminals. Having said that I am sure that wills have always been open to the general public, presumably in case someone thinks they have a claim and haven't been included. I used to go up to Somerset House in my lunchtime and order a will for 25 pence a page!, to see what my relatives had in the past left their money to and information on hard to find relatives, and it was fairly busy there. Of course if recent wills were to be subject to verification of someone requesting a will then you will need more staff and presumably a cost to requesters. Technically the information in a will should be covered by data protection (name, address and money), just as do birth, marriage and death certificates should, but aren't, not that I am suggested they should be. I don't think that we should have something like the military records protection, but maybe for the last ten years people should perhaps be asked why they want it. I suppose it is the benefits/downside of living in a 'free' society.
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