Once your Will has been signed, it is essential that you ensure the original document is stored securely. If your original Will goes missing or is accidentally destroyed, your executors may not be able to carry out your wishes as a copy cannot always be admitted to Probate and then 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, Title Deeds and Memoranda of Wishes.
At a dedicated secure Will storage facility
A wise solution would be to store your original Will and associated documents at a Safe Document Storage facility. For a modest annual fee your documents are:
- stored in a WWII bunker
- fully insured against loss
- retrievable by you or by us, via Royal Mail Special Delivery, for a small administration fee.
- returned to your Executors when needed, free of charge at time of death.
- recorded on the National Wills Register.
Blythe Wills Limited is offers a secure Will storage – contact us for more details.
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.
With your 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. This assumes that your executors know where your original Will is being kept.
At the bank
Banks can charge in excess of £40 per quarter 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 – the fees for which would be far in excess of any storage fee. Please note that if you do decide to store documents at your bank, you should NEVER store an original Will 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! Again, your executors may not know that your Will is with a particular bank.