What’s the Safest Way to Store a Will?
What’s the Safest Way to Store a Will?
At Laurelo, we understand that your Will is one of the most important documents you’ll ever create. It’s there to give you peace of mind that your loved ones are safeguarded, and your wishes will be carried out properly after you die. A well-drafted Will requires time, thought and usually some degree of financial investment and is a very valuable record to you and your family. So, it’s surprising that the safe storage of Wills is often an afterthought. Before you drop your Last Will and Testament in the paperwork drawer and forget about it, our experts have some useful advice on the safest way to store a Will.
Why do I need to worry about where I keep my Will?
Wills can easily be lost, damaged or even stolen. And if that happens, all your efforts would have been for nothing. It can also create a huge headache for those you leave behind. A ‘no Will’ scenario could be a nightmare for the person administering your estate, potentially leave your family without adequate provision and is an underlying cause of many inheritance disputes. In short, you need to do everything you can to ensure that any Executors have access to your Will when the time comes.
Is it safe to keep my Will at home?
If it’s lying in an unlocked drawer or stuffed under the mattress, it’s not secure enough. Paperwork can easily be mislaid or taken, particularly if you live in a large, busy household. And if you hide it somewhere ingenious, there’s still a possibility that even those you have informally confided in may be unable to locate it. That cunning hiding place may remain undiscovered if your confidant forgets or something happens before they can pass the information on after your death. In fact, surveys suggest that almost two-thirds of people in the UK have no idea where to find their parents’ Wills.
Even if you have your Will in a locked filing cabinet or safe, there are still risks in keeping it at home. It’s not something we like to think about but, everyone is at some risk of events like a flood, burglary or house fire, so there’s a chance your paperwork could be destroyed or mislaid should those unfortunate circumstances arise.
The document itself also needs to be kept in immaculate condition. Any damage could potentially put its validity into question or prompt a dispute, so a home environment is often not the best option.
So, where is the safest place to store my Will?
You want to know that your Will is in the safest hands possible. Professional Will storage services are generally a far safer alternative to storing your will at home. Dedicated Will storage companies, solicitors, banks, Will writers and the Probate Service can provide storage services, but you will need to consider the safety, charges and level of access you will have for each of them.
Solicitors who did not write a Will can still store it for you but there is usually a charge for this, and you could incur extra fees for accessing your paperwork. The Probate Service charge a flat fee and you are required to complete a form should you need to retrieve your Will at any point. Your Personal Representatives would have to apply to them for your Will after your death.
It’s also worth mentioning that a safe deposit box is not as sensible an option as you might think. Storing a Will here could leave the Executor with an awkward dilemma – the bank may require Probate in order to open the box, but the executor cannot apply for Probate without the original Will. A catch-22 you might want to avoid!
What is a professional will storage service?
A professional Will storage company is a great option if you’re looking for a straightforward solution. At Laurelo, we ensure that your Will is in the safest hands possible – for life. Our environmentally controlled Will storage facility gives full protection against water and fire damage to maintain the integrity of your documents. We also ensure the highest security standards, with 24-hour CCTV monitoring and restricted secure entry.
With us, you get instant access to your Will and support from our freephone helpdesk. To find out more about storing your will with Laurelo, contact our specialist team today.
This article is intended to provide information only and does not constitute legal advice. We do not accept any responsibility for any omission or loss as a result of this article.
C Hardman (Executor)
"Well informed, helpful and efficient throughout the whole probate journey. I was particularly impressed by the speed of response when I had questions"
V Garner (Executor)
"Thank you for dealing with the probate so efficiently. I would not hesitate to recommend your services in the future."
J Jackson (Executor)
"It has been my absolute pleasure to have met Michael and for him to act on my behalf, a wonderful, professional, caring person whose services I would recommend to anyone."
Peter Nash/Paula Cranmer (Executors)
"I would recommend Laurelo to anyone who needs good and sensible advice about the probate process at a very reasonable price."
A Wilson (Executor)
"I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Laurelo in what, at the outset felt like a daunting task, but in reality once explained to us and the burden of completing the forms taken away and completed by a professional the process was seamless."
Lorri Turner Senior Manager (Herongate Wood)
“I have always found Michael at Laurelo to be engaging, honest and supportive of the customers needs. The offer of a home visit to see clients within their own familiar surroundings further supports this. I have no difficulty in recommending their services."
G Perrett Will Protect Ltd & Executor
“Michael's professionalism and knowledge of every aspect of probate is only matched by his sensitivity and patience. He instinctively knows what to say and when to say it and I am so grateful to him for helping me navigate the most difficult period of my life so far safe in the knowledge that I could simply "park" this part of the process and leave it with him to "sort out"."
K Whittle (Executor)
“They provided a professional and emphatic approach and took all the stress away from dealing with probate. Filing the forms very promptly and the whole process was dealt with in just over a month. I would highly recommend and I again thank them for their help."