Keeping your Will safe
Feb 28, 2020
You’ve made a Will, but can you remember where you put it?
It’s all very well going through the process of setting out who should benefit in particular ways after your death, but those wishes may not be carried out if your Will cannot be found. As with all official paperwork, your original Will is a hugely important document. You may need to update it over the years. And your executors will need to know where to lay their hands on it when the time comes.
So it’s vital to think carefully about where best to keep it. Some people choose to store it at home, in a locked safe or in another secure place. While that is an option that can work well, it’s really important to think carefully about the risks: could it be damaged by flooding or fire? Might it be interfered with by someone else?
Other options include storing your Will at your solicitors’ office, or at the Probate Service. The key point is to make sure that your Will is kept in a place where you know it can be accessed if need be, and where you feel comfortable that it is in safe hands.
The other key point is to make sure that others – including your executors – know where to find your Will. If, after you have died, your Will can’t be found, it could be presumed that you had destroyed it. If there is some evidence of the Will (a draft version in your desk drawer, for example), it is possible that a Grant of Probate could be obtained which would enable your estate to be administered. That is far from the ideal position, however. It is much better to have the certainty that comes from a Will that spells out everything you want it to, stored in a safe and secure place.
That is advice we give every client who comes to us to write their Will. It’s not enough to have your wishes spelled out in black and white. Your Will needs to be easily found by those trusted with putting it into effect. It makes everything far more straightforward in the long run, and should ensure that your loved ones stand to benefit in the ways you intend.
To talk to us about making or storing your Will, contact the Private Client department on 01264 353411 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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