The most important thing is that your executor/s know that they have been appointed and where your Will is stored. Remember there may be many years between your completing your Will and it being needed, so always keep a copy with important paperwork.
Where shall I store it?
The recent unexpected closure of a long established Brighton firm of Solicitors, and the issues faced by the long-suffering clients of ‘Universal’ highlights that there is very little that is completely certain when it comes to Will storage. Solicitor firms will look after you Will, not such an issue if you are of an advanced age but firms can change and merge several times over in a few short decades. I store Wills for people, as well as digital copies, and I have a plan in place if for any reason I was unable to continue, to ensure all Wills would be returned. Worst case scenario – if you are unable to get your Will as your firm of Solicitors is untraceable or if a business like mine disappeared it is usually possible to prove a copy in these limited circumstances.
I do not charge for storage. Beware those who do – there is no additional protection and £20-50 per year can add up over time, especially as you do not really receive anything for it.
External Will storage or registration
There are two other options – lodge its existance with a Will Storage service (such as Certainty) or lodge the actual Will with the Probate Service. Both of these options would need payment of a fee (£30.00 and £20.00 respectively).
You can keep your will with your other documents, in a fireproof safe, or anywhere else you like – just make sure your executor knows where it is. Please note that there is always a risk that the document could become lost or damaged.
If your family may disagree with the contents of your Will, storage at home is perhaps too risky. If an original Will was stored at home and cannot be found there is a presumption that the Testator revoked it. The estate would then pass to the closest family.