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Storing Your Will So It Can Be Found
- May 3, 2019
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: Uncategorized
Often, when a will is written, the last thing the person whose will it is wants is relatives or potential beneficiaries to shuffle through draws and cupboards looking for a piece of paper which will tell them whether they are a beneficiary or not. However, you might think you should conceal it away from prying eyes, but you do not want to lose track of it altogether, otherwise when required by your executor it may be nowhere to be seen. Put simply, you need to decide where your will is to be stored and your executor should know all about it.
Where you should not keep your will
You may think a bank safety deposit box is a safe place. That may be so, but the problem with that option is that the bank will not be able to open it until probate has been granted to the executor. The catch 22 is that probate will not be granted unless the will is present! You have to ensure that access to your will is possible without probate.
Let your executor(s) know where to find your will and how they can get their hands on it. This means putting the key information down in writing.
Places to store a will
- Lodge it with a solicitor
If you paid a solicitor to write your will, s/he will usually provide a storage option for the original at no cost. You will then be given a copy. If the solicitor did not take any part in writing your will, but you want s/he to store it, a fee will normally be charged. The solicitor is liable if the will is damaged, lost or stolen.
- A writing service may store it for you
If a will writing service drew up your will, they will probably store it for an additional charge. Do make sure you get a copy for yourself just in case the writing service folds up and closes.
- The Probate Service in England and Wales will store it for you
The Probate Service offers a will storage service for a 20 pound flat free. It has to be lodged officially and official requests have to be made to take it out. You can only do this when you are still alive.
- Look after your own will
You will probably have other key documents which are kept in safekeeping so you can leave your will in the same place. Your executor must know where this is. Ensure the address of its location is put down in writing so there are no doubts about its location.
One thing you should never do is affix any other document(s) to your will, like staples or paperclips. This could leave doubt in the executor’s mind whether the will is complete. It is even possible that they don’t think it’s the original will they signed which could have been many years ago. Basically, keep your will safe, but keep its location simple to understand.