Once you have thought about what you want to do with your possessions, and who you would like to leave them to, what should you do with your completed will?
If your Will cannot be found by those closest to you, you may as well not have written one! Your possessions will be passed down by the Rules of Intestacy, ending up exactly where you had intended they shouldn’t.
It is therefore just as important to consider where your Will should be stored, as the contents.
Do not keep your will in a place where it cannot be found or accessed. A safe or safe deposit box may sound like a great idea, but when you pass away, no one may be able to access either. An executor cannot request access to a safe deposit box without probate, but probate cannot be granted without a Will.
You must ensure that your Will can be accessed by those you trust without the need for probate.
One option is to leave it with the profession who wrote it. Many will include storage in the fee when they write the will, or for a small fee.
The Probate Service will also store your Will after you have lodged it with them. This is done for a flat fee of £20 and you can request the Will to be taken out at any point, but it must be done by yourself.
Most people store their Will within their personal documents. This is obviously free but there is the risk that it is not found or accidentally thrown out with other paperwork. It may also become damaged, which could lead to the Will being declared invalid.
If you do decide to store the Will yourself, make sure that you do not attach anything to it, such as other papers, staples or even paperclips. If there is evidence there has been something attached, it may be decided that part of the Will is missing that may have contained an amendment. It is at this point the validity of the Will may be questioned and contested.
It is also important that you let your executors and a person you trust, know where you are storing your Will, this may save a lot of time and worry when it needs to be found.