So, you’ve finished your will. It’s printed, signed and 100% official. What do you do with it now? Here’s what you need to know about storing your will.

 

When deciding where to keep a will…

…You’ll want to think about three things:

  • Keeping it safe from damage. You’ll want to keep your will somewhere it can’t be accidentally damaged or destroyed. Clean, dry and safe from household decluttering purges.
  • Maintaining your privacy. A will is a very personal thing. Consider storing your will away from prying eyes.
  • Making sure it’s easy to find. You want your will be to private, yes. But your executor does need to be able to fetch it when the time comes. Make sure they know where it is and are able to get to it.

 

Where NOT to try storing your will

The one place you really don’t want to store your will is a bank safety deposit box.

This is because the bank won’t let your executor get at the will without a grant of probate. But to get a grant of probate, your executor needs your will. This kind of tangle can take a long time to sort out.

You may be wondering, “Okay, so where should I keep my will?”

Here are the options…

 

Where can I store my will?

1) With whoever made your will

If you made your will with a will writing service or solicitor, they will likely be happy to store it for you too. It’s usually free. This is a good option: the will is safe, and you have some recourse if something does happen to it.

You may also be able to store your will with a solicitor or will writer if you didn’t make it with them. But there’s usually a fee for that, so it’s worth comparing prices.

If you make your will with Beyond, you have the option of storing your will in our secure underground bunker. Find out more about our will writing service here.

 

2) With the UK government’s Probate Service

The official government Probate Service will store your will for a one-off charge of £20.

As will storage costs go, this is very cheap. But there is a drawback: only you can take the will back from them while you’re alive. You’ll also need to fill out the right forms to do so. This can be a little inconvenient.

Find out more about storing your will with the probate service here.

 

3) Storing your will at home

Keeping your will at home can be risky. There’s always a chance it can be lost or damaged. If you’re not sure where to keep your will in the house, here are some tips:

  • Keep it with your other important documents
  • Make sure it’s somewhere dry and out of the way
  • Put it in a waterproof folder
  • If you want to lock it up somewhere, make sure your executor has a key, knows where one is, or has the safe code.

 

When storing your will…

Whatever you do, don’t staple or bind other documents to your will  even with a paperclip. Any marks left on your will can suggest that it’s not complete, or valid. This can make it hard (or even impossible) to put into action.

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