The 4 Best Places to Store a Will
In an office drawer?
Under your mattress?
In the pantry?
Where are your important papers? Have you told anyone where they are, or are you praying they will be found when the time comes?
There are a few different options for choosing where to store your will and here we’ll look at some of the pros and cons of each.
Where to store your will
There’s no legal requirement to store your will in one particular place, so as long as it is safe and your executor knows where to find it, you can technically leave it anywhere. However, here we are going to take a look at four main, safe options.
This is perhaps seen as the most common option as most people complete their will with a solicitor. When you do this, your solicitor will often keep the original and give you a copy. Not all solicitors are the same though, so you’ll want to check how they are storing your will.
Even if you don’t write your will with a solicitor, they will often let you store it with them but this will usually incur a fee. Either way, a solicitor is a secure option as long as the executor knows which firm you have used.
- Solicitors usually offer will storage as part of their service
- They will have backup systems if it’s lost or damaged
You may have to pay extra if they didn’t write the will
There are many will-writing services out there that work in a similar way to a solicitor. A will-writing service will often let you store your will free of charge as part of their service and will often cost less than the typical solicitor fees.
However, as they aren’t regulated, you’re not going to have the same level of protection as you would with a solicitor. Due to this, you’ll always want to keep your own copy. Your executor should know both which service you used and where the copy is.
- It can be cheaper than using a solicitor
- The industry isn’t regulated
Make sure to keep your own copy
The probate service
This is a good option for those living in England and Wales. The Probate Service will store your will for a low fee of £20. This is a secure service as it will be officially registered with them.
- An extra cost if you’ve already used a solicitor
- Longer process to access with extra forms to sign
Is extremely secure
There are obvious risks to this as it won’t be in a secure facility with a backup. It can also make it more vulnerable to fire and theft. If you are doing this then you should let your executor know where it can be found and inform them if you ever move it.
- There is no cost to this solution
- Can give an executor immediate access
A riskier option of storage
A bonus #5 just for you! We have an easy will storing service that you can take advantage of on our website.
Once the will is complete, you can either:
- print an at-home will
- have it printed, bound and delivered
have it printed, bound, delivered, returned and stored securely
Where you shouldn’t store a will
You should be protective of your will and keep it stored in a safe, known place. If you're storing your will at home, that means keeping it organized in a folder or a cabinet, and not loosely in a draw. You don't want to risk losing it, accidentally throwing it out or getting damaged.
You also shouldn’t store it in any place that you’ll need a grant of probate to access, such as a safety deposit box at a bank. This can severely delay retrieving the will and make it much harder for your executor to gain access to it.
The end is near...
Where you store your will is going to be up to you and there may be no right or wrong answer, but you do want to keep it safe and accessible. Let us know which you choose, and if we can help keep your will safe now or in the future. We’d love to give you peace of mind and help plan for your future, together.
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