Why should I invest



Whilst it is really important to write a will, if your will cannot be found after you die you may as well have not bothered writing one. There are several options for storing a will, but which ever option you choose make sure you let the executor of your will know where they can find it. Although there are no legal requirements for storing a will it is a legal document so you need to keep it in a place that is easy to access and very safe.

With a solicitor

If a solicitor writes your will they will usually store it free of charge. If they didn’t write the will they will charge you a fee to store it. Most solicitors offer fireproof storage for documents like this.

Principal Probate Registry

For a one of fee (currently £20-March 2015) the registry in London will securely store your will. You will be asked to complete some basic details on an envelope, which includes the names of your executors. On payment of the fee they will arrange for your will to be stored at the principal registry of the family division of the high court. You will be given a certificate of deposit. Your executor will need this certificate to get the will when you die. You can do this by post but must obtain a safe custody envelope pack first, this is free of charge from any regional probate registry. Complete all the details, enclose your will and a cheque for the fee, made payable to HM Courts & Tribunals Service’, get a witness to sign the envelope and send by registered post to:

Principal Registry of the Family Division

The Principal Probate Registry

7th Floor

First Avenue House

42-49 High Holborn

London

WC1V 6NP

They will send your certificate of deposit to you within two weeks.

At home

If you choose this option it will not be protected from fire, theft or other damage. If you choose this option and the will cannot be found when you die your estate will be treated as if you had died intestate which would result in your assets not being distributed as you may have wanted. Those who choose this option should ensure the executor knows exactly where to find your will and try to keep it somewhere it is less likely to get damaged or destroyed.

Document storage companies

There are many companies advertising online who say they store wills. Before giving them your will you must ask the following:

  • How are wills stored, are they in fireproof containers, insured for theft or damage
  • How would an executor access your will should you die
  • What is the cost of storing your will, one off fee or annual charge
  • Check they have the name of your executor/executors and instruct that they can only access the will after your death

 

DO NOT store in a bank safety deposit box

If you do this the bank will not be able to open the deposit box when you die until your executor gets probate (permission from the court to administer your affairs). Problem is that probate can’t be granted without the will.

Whichever will storage option you choose always make sure that your will can be accessed without probate.