Where do I store my Will?
As a valued client of Nichols & Co, we offer complimentary storage for your Will, Letters of Wishes, and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) documents.
You’ve finalised your Will and now you need to store it in a secure and accessible storage location, but where do you store your Will?
Proper storage ensures that your Will remains protected, readily available for probate, and alleviates additional stress for your loved ones. In this article, we will explore different storage alternatives and provide guidance on what to do if the original Will is misplaced.
Storing Your Will at Home
Keeping your Will at home may initially seem convenient and cost-effective. However, it’s important to take necessary precautions:
- Store your Will in a fireproof safe or another secure area within your home.
- Be mindful of potential risks such as accidental damage, loss, or theft.
While unintentional destruction of a Will does not invalidate it, proving a photocopy can lead to additional expenses and delays during the estate administration process.
Safekeeping your Will with Nichols & Co
As a valued client of Nichols & Co, we offer complimentary storage for your Will, Letters of Wishes, and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) documents. Our secure storage features include:
- Fireproof cabinets where your documents are kept.
- Logging of your documents in our Wills Registry.
- Registration of your Will on the National Wills Register at no cost, making it easy for your executors to locate when needed.
Depositing Your Will with the Probate Service
In England and Wales, the Probate Service provides a storage option for a one-time fee of £20.00. To deposit your Will:
- Personally deliver it to your local district probate registry or send it by mail along with a completed form.
- You can request the release of your Will without charge during your lifetime, and your executors can do the same after your passing.
Steps to Take If a Deceased Person’s Will Is Missing
If someone passes away without disclosing the location of their Will, consider the following steps:
- Thoroughly search their residence, contact their legal counsel, the Probate Registry, their bank, or any storage facilities they may have used.
- Nichols & Co can assist you by performing a Will Search on your behalf through the National Will Register.
Establishing the Validity of a Copy Will
In cases where only a copy of the Will is found or the original is lost before reaching the Probate Registry, it is assumed that the testator intentionally revoked it by destroying it. To establish the validity of a copy Will, you will need to:
- Apply to the Probate Registry, supported by a witness statement and compelling evidence that the Will was not revoked.
- Provide details about when and where the Will was last seen, efforts made to locate it, and reasons to believe it was not deliberately destroyed during the testator’s lifetime.
How Nichols & Co Can Assist with your Will
For more information, please contact us via email or call us at 020 8850 3300.