3/15/2018

Keeping Your Will Safe – Where Can You Store It


Your will is one of the most important documents that you will need to draft, but it is crucial that you store in a safe place. Writing a Will is a challenging task but making sure that you are keeping it safe where only your executors can find it when they need it should be the priority.

If at all the Will is misplaced or if your executors do not find it after your death, then your wishes may not be followed and the people you wanted to inherit your property will not be able to do so.

Although there is no legal requirement as to where you should register, deposit or store your Will, there are certain places that people have their preference. Be careful where you decide to place your Will, make sure that you inform your executors about it so that they can find it immediately following your death.
Keeping Your Will At Home
Many people choose to store their Will in their home. Your house is the easiest place from where your executors can find the Will as it is obviously going to be the first place they will be searching if you have not told them otherwise.

One of the major reasons why people choose to keep it at home with their other important documents is because the storage place is free – by that I mean there is no ongoing charges for storage.
However, one of the major disadvantages of keeping your Will home is that you could damage it accidentally and invalidate it. Fire, damp, mould and spillage are certainly common at home and all of them could destroy your carefully drafted Will.

To protect yourself from such situations, you need to invest in fireproof safety lockers and store the Will in a sealed plastic bag. But doing this will certainly be costly, so it is often better to store it somewhere else.

Also, it is noteworthy to never attach your documents to the Will. Marks due to staples, paperclips, glue and sticky tapes can give rise to some questions regarding whether the Will has been altered or whether any pages or amendments are missing. Such things can make it difficult for your executors to obtain the authority of carrying out your last wishes.
Lodge Your Will with the Probate Services
This is a kind of government service that offers to store Wills and codicils for a flat fee. The cost of this service is £20 every time you lodge a document.

Remember that the probate services are operated solely by the UK government. Also, beware as there are several businesses online with the same names but which do not provide the same service.

For your convenience, all you have to do is to take your Will to any regional probate registry. They will then post your Will to the Principal Probate Registry in London City. Alternatively, you can visit the London City Office by yourself.

So if you decide to post your Will in, you are needed to acquire a safe custody Will envelop pack which is easily available at the probate registry office. This pack includes a form that you are required to fill out and a special envelope to put your Will in.

Once you complete the form, you send it back to the Principal Probate Registry. Remember, the entire process right up until you post the Will should be acknowledged by witnesses.

The disadvantage of this service is the effort required. Visiting the probate registry office is not as convenient as you think. You have to obtain the pack, fill it out, which is a lengthy process in itself and have the entire thing witnessed. Again, this isn’t the easiest option available either.
Storing Your Will with Your Solicitor or a Bank
When you write a will through a solicitor, they offer to store your Will for free or at a low cost. The same is with your bank. The sole purpose here is commercial.

Since they are the keepers of the Will, your executors have to visit them after your death. At that time, they might be able to convince your executors to let them handle the work of administering your property (known as probate).

Your executors can accept the offer or they can opt to carry out the probate by themselves. Your bank, on the other hand, will outsource the probate work to a solicitor and charge a hefty fee for doing so.

Your solicitor may store your Will in their premises or can outsource it to a business that can keep it safer and insure it. Remember, you need to enquire with your solicitor and know where the Will is stored.

There are chances that your solicitor will register your Will on a national database. The largest database is the National Will Register. Although the name sounds official, the company functions independently and is not a government organisation.

Charges are involved for both registering where the Will is stored and for retrieving that information. Talk to your solicitor about the fees involved in storing your Will, continuing to store it and to retrieve it from the storage.

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