Storage of Wills
Aug 31, 2018
Most people feel a great sense of relief after having made a Will. They know that the right steps have been taken towards providing for their loved ones’ future. However, there is one vital thing that must also happen: the Will must be stored somewhere safe and secure.
Solicitors will typically hold copies of clients’ Wills in their offices; we have many that are carefully contained in either our strong room or stored securely at one of our other branches, untouched until clients want to update them, or until the Will comes into effect on their death. We offer this service to all clients free of charge. Other people choose to keep their original Will at home, usually in a safe or other locked place. There are other options, too, including storage at the Probate Office.
Like most official documents, the original version of a Will is the one that counts. It is so important, therefore, that you are confident that your Will is in the best place, exposed to as little risk of loss or accidental damage or destruction as possible. It is not unknown for Wills to disappear, perhaps through theft or fire, and in that situation the job of administering the deceased person’s estate is made far more difficult.
The basic position is that if, for whatever reason, a person is believed to have made a Will but that Will cannot be found, it is presumed that the person destroyed it. If there are any traces of the Will – perhaps a draft version, or some other evidence of its contents – then it may be possible to apply for a Grant of Probate (enabling the estate to be administered) on that basis.
That course of action is best avoided if at all possible. It is the reason we urge our clients to take great care over the decision about where and how to store their original Will. Just as the Will itself is intended to give certainty about what should happen in the future, keeping it in the best place (and telling the relevant people where they can find it) should ensure that the job of passing assets on to those you care about is a straightforward process.
For further advice on your specific circumstances, contact our Private Client team today who will be happy to help. Tel: 01264 353411, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our no obligation, online enquiry form and someone will contact you.
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