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Making a Will is one of the most important things you’ll ever do in your life. So, when you make one, you need to make sure you look after it. A missing Will is about as much use as a cat flap on a submarine.
Making sure your Will is stored safely is just as important as making your Will in the first place. Your executors can’t execute something that isn’t there. You need to make sure it’s accessible when it’s needed.
Why is storing my Will so important?
You only ever have one legally valid copy of your Will at any time. Scans, computer records and photocopies don’t count as they don’t have your wet signature on them.
That’s why you need to make sure your Will is kept somewhere safe and secure. You’ve only got one, and it’s useless if it’s been lost. Not only that, but damaged Wills could be declared invalid by the courts. You need to keep it safe.
Now, when it comes to Will storage, you’ve got a couple of options. You could file your Will somewhere in your house, or you could it keep it safe in a secure Will storage facility.
Storing it yourself
Keeping it in your house needs the least effort. Just get a plastic wallet and file it away with your other important documents. You’ll always know where your Will is and it’s on hand if you ever need it.
Storing your Will in a box in the back bedroom is quite risky, though. It’s at risk of fires, water damage, theft, loss, destruction. Any sort of accident or disaster could strike and tamper with your Will, leaving it invalid or destroyed.
And having your Will in an easily accessible place is risky in its own way. All too often we see cases of relatives meddling with Wills for their own personal gain. All it takes is one sulking beneficiary to realise they’re better off if the Will doesn’t exist for it to mysteriously disappear. I know you probably think that none of your nearest and dearest would do anything like that, but just think – everyone it’s ever happened to in the past probably thought the same thing.
Storing your Will at home is pretty risky, then. That’s why you’re better off keeping your Will in a proper storage facility.
Use a Will storage facility
Here’s a question – would you feel better knowing your car is locked safely in your garage or parked on the street outside of your house?
Obviously you’re going to feel better knowing that your car’s in the garage. Sure, it’s a little bit more effort to get it out. You need to unlock the door. But it’s worth it, because you know it’s protected from damage and theft. It’s the same with your Will.
You can pay a fee to a Will storage facility and they’ll look after your Will for you. It’s kept in a secure archive under lock and key, only accessible to you and your executors. Wills in storage are insured too, so if the unthinkable happened – say a meteor strike obliterated the Will storage facility – you’d be covered.
If you’re interested in Will storage, get in touch. We can offer the service through the National Will Archive. It’s either £40 a year or a one off payment of £150, but it’s a small price to pay to never have to worry about your Will again.
What happens if I’ve already got a Will stored, then I make a new one?
I can’t speak for every Will storage company out there, but the National Will Archive allows you to switch Wills out. All you need to do is pay a £5 retrieval fee for your old Will, and then you can swap it for your new Will at no extra charge.
If you use a company other than the National Will Archive, it’s worth asking them what the procedure is.
As a professional Will writing company, we go on all the time about the importance of writing a Will – for a good reason. But we don’t talk enough about making sure a Will is safe. It’s every bit as important as writing a Will in the first place.
Making a Will is the first step that you need to take, though, and if you haven’t done it yet there’s no time like the present. There’s not much point in reading a blog about Will storage if you don’t have a Will, is there?
At Vital Documents we can help you draft a Will to maximise the chances of your wishes being carried out. Give us a ring us on +44 (0)330 229 0331, drop us an email on email@example.com or arrange a call with us – we’ve got you covered!