Storage of Wills
Proper storage of your Will is equally as important as actually writing your Will.
Having taken the important step of preparing a valid Will, you may be wondering where you should keep this important document?
It needs to be easily found by your executors when it is needed.
The UK, unlike some other countries, does not offer an official Will register. If your Will cannot be found after your death, it will be presumed that you have died intestate (without a valid Will).
If this is the case your estate will be shared out according to specific rules. These might not be what you wished for when you prepared your Will.
Do not put your Will at risk
You’re probably thinking, ‘Well, where is best?’
There are lots of different places that a Will can be kept, each with their own pros and cons.
At home, with your executor or with your solicitor are the most common places.
Keeping your Will in your house creates the risk of others having access to it, and the possibility of it being destroyed by fire or flood.
Your executor would need to know where you keep it and have access to your house.
If you do choose to keep your Will at home, it is best to keep it in a fireproof and waterproof locked safe.
Your executor will need access to the safe.
With Your Executor
Your executor is someone you trust and is probably the best person to store your Will.
If you don’t want them to look at it you can put it in a sealed envelope and ask that it only be opened upon your death.
It is important to remember that if you update your Will, you should provide a new copy to your executor and destroy the old copy.
Also, if you change your executor you should remove the old copy of your Will from your previous executor.
With Your Solicitor
Your solicitor may offer a will storing service for a small fee.
You will need to tell your executor who your solicitor is and it is important to remember that solicitors firms can close down or your solicitor may move to another practice.
Will to Give is a unique network of charities working together to encourage people in Northern Ireland to leave a charitable gift in their Will.
For more information about how you can leave a gift in your Will click here.