“Where’s the Will?”
Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. If it is lost and cannot be found, your estate will be distributed according the rules of intestacy. Even the slightest mark or damage to your Will can render it invalid and you intestate. It must be kept safe and secure yet readily accessible.
As a full member of the Society of Will Writers, I can offer to store your Will at the Society’s own secure document storage facility.
For a single one-time payment the Society will store both your and your partner’s Wills for your lifetimes. Furthermore, you can store all your other important documents such as Lasting Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives and even your property deeds, for no additional charge. You can retrieve your documents easily and quickly whenever you want, for example, if you wish to amend your Will or if you need to property deeds when you sell your house. There is no charge to return your documents into storage nor for you to store additional documents at any time.
Here are some of the benefits of the Society of Will Writers Custody for Life service:
Choosing Custody for Life assures you peace of mind knowing that your important documents are guaranteed safe and secure for a lifetime.
There are, of course, other options that you might consider:
You might be tempted to store your Will in a safe place at home. Of all the options, this is probably the worst place to store it. At home your Will can so easily be inadvertently thrown away or damaged by fire, flood and pests including little Johnny who might find it when looking for colouring paper and draw pretty crayon pictures all over it! And little Johnny is not the only relative who may cause problems. It is not unknown for relatives to destroy a Will if they did not like its contents.
If you are intent on storing your Will at home, then do invest in a proper fire and flood proof document box.
This is certainly a better option than storing your Will at home. But banks charge a monthly or annual fee that can amount to thousands of pounds over a lifetime. It can also be very problematic for your Executors to obtain your Will when it is needed to obtain probate.
The Probate Service offers a Will storage service at the Principle Probate Registry in London. There is a fee of £20 per Will deposited.
You can only store Wills and Codicils with the Probate Service. You cannot store other important documents such as Lasting Powers of Attorney or property deeds.
You can withdraw your Will at any time, for example to make amendments, but you have to pay the deposit fee again if you wish to return the Will to storage.
Wherever you choose to store your Will, please do so safely and securely and inform your Executors where it is stored and how they can access it.