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Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what arrangements her Department has in place for members of the public publicly to register the existence of a (a) will and (b) living will. (125174)

There are no arrangements in England and Wales for a public register of wills of living persons. There are facilities under section 126 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 for a person to lodge his or her will at the Principal Registry of the Family Division for safe keeping during his or her lifetime but these records are not available to the public. A will only becomes a public record after the person who made it has died and the court has made a grant of probate in respect of it.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 includes provision for the making of binding advance decisions. The Act applies to England and Wales only. There is no provision for the registration of advance decisions.