Once your Will has been executed, it is crucial that you take steps to store the original securely. If your original Will goes missing or is accidentally destroyed, your executors will be unable to proceed as a mere copy cannot be admitted to Probate.
If your original Will is damaged or defaced, the Probate Registry may consider that an attempt has been made to revoke your Will and may refuse to admit it to probate. In either case, your estate will be treated as if you had not made a Will at all – and all the devastating consequences of intestacy will follow.
You have a number of options when considering where to keep your original Will plus associated documents such as Lasting Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives and Memoranda of Wishes.
National Will Safe (NWS) – A Dedicated Secure Will Storage Facility
We have been working with NWS for many years and for a modest annual fee (please contact us for a quote) your documents are:
ο Stored in waterproof, tamper-evident wallets
ο Stored in a specialist document archive
ο Fully insured against loss – and National Will Safe carries Professional Indemnity Insurance of £2 million per client
ο Retrievable by you or by us, free of charge and via Royal Mail Special Delivery, at any time
ο Returned to your Executors when needed, free of charge
ο Recorded on Certainty, the National Wills Register
Contact us today if you wish to learn more about this service.
Storing your Will at Home
If you choose to store your Will at home, the risks include accidental loss, burglary, destruction by fire or flood, or tampering. Executors may simply be unable to lay their hands on even a copy of your Will – either in time to ensure that your funeral wishes are respected, or at all.
Secure Will Storage with a Solicitor
Solicitors tend to offer free secure storage in the hope that, when your executors make an appointment to retrieve the original Will, they can sell them probate and estate administration services whose fees may unnecessarily eat away at the value of your estate.
However, solicitors’ firms often merge or close, meaning the exact location of your Will may be difficult to pinpoint.
Storing your Will at a Bank
Banks can charge fees far in excess of any dedicated storage facility for the safekeeping of original documents – and any offer to do so free of charge is generally conditional upon your appointing the bank as professional executors/trustees.
Please note that if you do decide to store documents at your bank, you should NEVER store an original Will or important docs in a safety deposit box held in your name – the executors would never be able to retrieve it as opening the box would require the original Will to be produced to probate!
Alex Truesdale Wills Limited offers a professional Will drafting and estate planning service covering the Surrey, Kent, Greater London areas, the South Coast of England and Wales.
Call us on 07887 946557 or request a call back here.
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Will Writing And Estate Planning From Alex Truesdale Wills
Alex Truesdale Wills Limited offers a professional and personal Will writing service, giving you flexibility and control for the present and your loved one’s peace of mind about the future.
Contact Alex Truesdale today to arrange a free, no-obligation initial consultation, virtual meetings or face to face.