Closed petition PE2076: Require original wills made outside of Scotland to be accepted into safe custody, by Registers of Scotland or other safe custody providers, without prior mailing around

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce legislation to require that custody providers accept original wills from the outset, removing their power first to require an opinion on the validity of the will from a lawyer in the jurisdiction of origin.

Previous action taken

I have raised this with Foysol Choudhury MSP. Then to the reply he obtained, I wrote directly a follow-up to Scottish ministers, addressed to the Minister for Victims and Community Safety, trying to pin down this issue. Both answers were just descriptions of the status quo. Earlier, I had asked the Edinburgh Sheriff Court Commissary Section to fairly specify what costs would result if a will gets lost because of the requirement to post it around.

Background information

All institutions of law are reformable by legislation. The Registers of Scotland hence has no sovereign supra-parliamentary immunity from legislation forcing to operate sensibly. Nothing makes that its own domain, it is properly a role of government to deprive it of power of unjust decision on how to treat the public.

It needs depriving of the power of decision not to accept a will made outside Scotland until given an opinion that the will is valid, by a lawyer practising in the jurisdiction where the will was made. For, to obtain this requires mailing the original will to them, creating risk of the will being lost in the post.. This before it can be received exactly into safe custody against loss and extract copies being providable, is kafkaesque unsafe, absurd and unjust. Loss results in a more expensive and slower process of intestacy.

Even insured tracked delivery only exists for mailing within the UK. So, if the will comes from further abroad, an applicant is trapped to completely risk it untracked into the international mail system, easily losable and at the mercy of adequacy of practice abroad to return it uncorruptly.

  • Created by Maurice Frank
  • Date closed 1 May 2024

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6 signatures