RQG response to Ministry of Justice proposal on original Will documents

8 Jan, 2024

RQG response to Ministry of Justice proposal on original Will documents

RQG response to Ministry of Justice (MOJ) proposal on Original Will Documents

There is still time for RQG members and student members to respond to the recent email that was sent about the proposed legislation changes to the digitisation, storage and retention of original Will documents.

Please email comms@qualifiedgenealogists.org to let the Directors know your views on the MOJ consultation so RQG can make representations on behalf of the members. The deadline for responses to RQG is 10 January 2024.

Below is a copy of the email together with the links to the consultation documentation.


Dear Members & Student Members On the 15 December 2023, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) issued a consultation document on the Storage and Retention of Original Will Documents. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/65703ecb0f12ef07a53e02b9/storage-retention-original-will-documents-print.pdfPut simply, the proposal is to digitise all post-1858 Wills and then destroy most of the originals. This is a serious concern. The proposed changes can be summarised into 3 categories:

  • The proposal to digitise original Will documents
  • The proposal to destroy original Will documents following a digitisation programme
  • Only to preserve original Will documents of famous people

The RQG will be responding to the consultation proposal as your membership association and needs your views.  However, we also urge you to respond as an individual.  How you can get involved

  1. Write to us, the RQG at comms@qualifiedgenealogists.org and share your views with us. This will enable the Board of Directors to make an informed response on behalf of the membership. Please email no later than 10 January 2024.
  2. Write to your local Member of Parliament (England & Wales) with your concerns. Details on how to find your local MP can be found athttps://members.parliament.uk/findyourmp
  3. Respond to the consultation and the 11 questions that are asked within the proposed change document. This can be viewed athttps://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/storage-and-retention-of-original-will-documents/storage-and-retention-of-original-will-documents

For members who live outside England & Wales, including overseas members, your views are encouraged through our email consultation. The Board of Directors meet on 17 January 2024, and all responses received will be collated and reported during the meeting. The deadline for formal consultations, including points 2 and 3 above, is 23 February 2024. Thank you in advance for your valued contribution to this matter.

Joanne Kenyon

RQG Member & Director

1 comment

  1. Paula Kennedy
    says:

    I am reminded of the decisions made concerning merchant shipping records. Fortunately a Canadian university stepped in to rescue many crew lists but only ‘famous ships records’ were kept within BT 100 at Kew. The problem with saving records linked to famous people, vessels or buidings is that they may not give a clear picture of society at a given time and historical research may become skewed.

    Historians, including genealogists prefer to have access to original documents because scanning and transcription can lead to mistakes.

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