The whole point of a Will is that you have a say how your estate is distributed. If your Will can’t be located after your death, then your estate may end up being distributed totally differently to how you intended.
Secondly for probate, it is the original Will document that must be produced, and since there is only ever one original it needs to be kept safe.
Can I store my Will at home?
Absolutely, yes you can do that, but it comes with risks. Here is a list of risks you could face when storing your Will yourself:
- Destruction by fire – In 1 year the Fire & Rescue Services attended over half a million fires1
- Destruction by flooding
- Loss – either you can’t find it, or after your death your executors can’t find it!
- Malicious damage
- Theft of the Will
- Accidental damage
What will happen if my Will is destroyed or lost?
If your Will is last known to be in your possession, and following your death nobody can find it, there is a presumption that you have destroyed your Will, with the intention to revoke it. This presumption can be rebutted, but it is not simple nor straight forward. The situation becomes more complex if no copy of the signed will is available. Either outcome will cause greater stress on your family who are suffering from their loss. Advice should be sought from a suitably qualified estate planner or probate practitioner if required.
What are the benefits professional Will storage provides?
A professional Will storage company will physically hold the Will on your behalf, in a secure location which is designed for the purpose. Providing fire and flood prevention, with restricted access. Your documents would only be released, to someone else, upon receipt of a copy of your death certificate and only after the executor proves their identity.
We are partnered with The National Will Archive (NWA) where they also check the validity of your Will to make sure it complies with legal requirements, produce scanned copies and keep digital records any time it is withdrawn or deposited to storage, as well as provide ID cards for those who are authorised to access the Will.
How do I store my Will professionally?
Contact us today and we can help you through a simple process listing your details and your executor details. There is a small annual charge to provide all the benefits above, but most importantly you’ll have peace of mind. You can also store other important documents such as Lasting Power of Attorneys.
If you would like to know about Wills or how we could help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.