Storing your will where others can find it

If anything happens to your will or if your executor doesn’t know where to find it, you might as well not have written one. You need to decide how to look after it and let your executor know where it is.

Where not to keep your will

Never keep your will in a bank safety deposit box.

When someone dies, the bank can’t open the deposit box until the executor gets probate (permission from the court to administer your affairs) – and probate can’t be granted without the will.

Always make sure that your will can be accessed without probate.

Tell your executor where your will is

Once you’ve made your decision about how to deposit your will for safekeeping, make sure your executors know where it is and how to get it.

It’s important to write it down – and not just tell them.

Ways of storing a will

There isn’t any particular place that the law says you must deposit your will.

Choose the option that’s safest and most appropriate for you.

Leave it with a solicitor

If a solicitor writes your will, they will usually store the original free of charge and give you a copy – but ask them to make sure.

Most solicitors will also store a will they didn’t write, but there will probably be a fee.

Pros
  • Solicitors are regulated so if the will is lost or damaged you have recourse to make things right.

Cons
  • If the solicitor who is storing it didn’t write your will then this might mean you have to pay extra.

Let a will writing service store it

If you use a will writing service they’ll often store it for you for an extra charge.

Pros
  • Can cost less than using a solicitor – but always check the fee before you commit.

Cons
  • You might be less protected if something goes wrong – ask what would happen if the will got damaged or lost, or if the service went out of business. Always ask to keep a copy yourself.

Lodge it with the Probate Service (England and Wales)

The Probate Service will store your will for you – you have to lodge it with them officially, and make official requests to take it out again.

Pros
  • There’s a flat fee of £20.

Cons
  • Only you can take the will back while you’re still alive by submitting the right form, for example you can’t ask a solicitor to get it for you.

Keep your will yourself

You can keep your will with your other documents, in a safe, or anywhere else you like – just make sure your executor knows where it is.

Pros
  • It’s free.

Cons
  • Could be risky, as the will might be thrown away or damaged accidentally.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
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Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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