GDPR & Beneficiaries Named in Wills

Posted on August 5, 2018
Jefferies GDPR Wills

Were you made aware of the new General Data Protection Regulations (‘GDPR’) which came into effect earlier this year? You may have been contacted by many businesses who scrambled to comply with the new rules by contacting consumers via emails and texts to obtain consent before they stored or processed personal details.

But what does this mean for Will-writers and are they required to notify Beneficiaries if they are named in a Will?

Do Beneficiaries now have the right to be informed if they are named in a Will under the new GDPR provisions?

Under the new data protection rules, individuals are legally entitled to be provided with all data that an organisation holds about them. As such, Will-writers have been concerned that, once a Will has been drafted on behalf of a client (known as “a Testator”),  they may now be obligated to send privacy notices to Beneficiaries.  In most cases a Testator would not want this information disclosed to their Beneficiaries.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has clarified that Will-writers who store Wills on behalf of Clients do not have to contact Beneficiaries when a Will is drafted. This is due to the professional secrecy obligations and as such, the personal data of the Testator and the Beneficiaries must remain confidential.

When a Will comes into effect and the Estate starts to be administered, the lawyers acting for the Executors will then be required to issue a GDPR compliant privacy notice to all Beneficiaries.

Will-writers must ensure that they have robust security measures in place to keep the data safe during the Testator’s lifetime. Jefferies Solicitors have a secure strong room and we can store original wills or testamentary documents for our clients, free of charge.

For expert advice with a personal touch please contact Emma Blakesley on 01702 443 484.

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