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Where Should I Keep My Will?

It might not even have crossed your mind, but once you have written your will (which is something, we would suggest, is essential), where are you going to keep it? Where should you will be stored to ensure that it is not only completely safe, but it easily accessible in the event of your death?

There are various options, but whichever you choose, it is important that you are not the only one who knows about it. Otherwise, how would what you write within it ever be actioned?

So why not just leave the will in your home, in a desk drawer or under your bed? Well, what if it was stolen? What if it was lost? What if there was a fire or a flood or you were unable to get to your home for any reason? What then? Then your will could be lost, and then there could be serious consequences for your estate, and your loved ones.

So then… where should you keep your will?

Your home is a good place only if you have somewhere safe to lock the will away. A good, strong wall safe, for example, would ensure that, even if your house was burgled, or did come under threat of water or fire, your will would remain unharmed. If you choose this option, you should explain to your executor how to access the safe in your absence.

You can also store your will with your solicitor. However, please be aware that there is usually a charge for this – and it can be an expensive, especially if there is a monthly fee involved.

You can hire a safe deposit box at your bank. Again, there will be a fee, and although very safe, this option might become awkward in the event of your death when your executor tries to gain access to your safe deposit box; if they cannot find or cannot read your original will, probate will be delayed, which can lead to big problems further down the line.

A cheaper option is the Principle Probate Registry. You just need to contact the Ministry of Justice High Court to secure this option. There is a charge, but it is a one off fee (of £20 at the time of writing), and will save you any headaches you might have about what to do with those precious few pages.

As long as your will is completely safe, as long as it cannot be damaged or lost, and as long as your executor (and others, if you wish them to know) are aware of where your will is stored, then the choice is yours.

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