Wills are very important documents, and it is even more important to store them safely and securely. Unlike most documents, when a person dies, the original copy of the Will must be produced for probate. If you only have one original Will, then you will need to make sure that you keep it safe. This is so when you pass, family/friends can find it easily.

It is within your rights to store your will at home, with other important documents. However, you need to be aware of the risks of the Will being vulnerable to damage from flooding or fire, or even being lost or stolen. If your Will cannot be found upon your death, then your estate may be distributed differently to how you wanted. This is known as the laws of intestacy. We have an article with information on what happens if your will is lost.

Can I store my Will at home with other important documents?

Yes, you absolutely can. But it is not always recommended to do so. You need to make sure that your Will is safe, and the risks of storing it at home.

Here is a list of the risks you could face:

  • Destruction by fire
  • Destruction by flooding
  • Malicious damage
  • Loss\theft of the Will
  • Accidental damage

What actually happens if your Will is lost or destroyed?

If your will was last known to be in your possession, but it has not been found since your death, then there may be a presumption that your Will has been destroyed with the intention to revoke it. The presumption can be rebutted but with great effort. This obviously isn’t ideal as your estate may end up not passing to your beneficiaries how you wished, or great stress may be placed on your family who are faced with the process of seeking permission to prove a copy of your Will.

A scanned copy of the Will cannot be automatically admitted to probate, even if it matches the original document exactly. The original document is required to be valid. If the Will is lost or accidentally destroyed, the executors can apply to prove a copy instead. They must prove affidavit evidence detailing the circumstances of the loss or destruction, efforts to locate the missing Will, and evidence to disprove the presumption of revocation. The application must also include details of anyone who may be affected y the copy of the Will.

What benefits does professional Will storage provide?

A professional Will storage company often provides more than just housing for your Will. They may also provide services that protect your Will and make it easier for your executors to retrieve it. For example, they will only release the Will upon receipt of a copy of your death certificate, and only once your executor has proven their identity.

These are the risks imposed by home storage and how professional storage handles these problems:

  • Fire Prevention
  • Flood Prevention
  • Restricted Access – only released to you or an authorised person
  • Secured Building
  • Safely filed away for when either you or your executors require it

What we can do

Here at Wills & Trust, we can store your Will safely and securely. By storing your Will with us, it stops any risks outlined above. If you would like to find out more about professional will storage, get in touch today. We have a specialist team, who are happy to answer any questions you may have. We have been helping people across Runcorn, Warrington, Liverpool, Frodsham, and Chester for over 15 years.