Storing your will where others can find it

Money Advice Service

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 your will, then 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, it’s essential to make sure that your executors know where it is and how to get it.

Don’t just tell them – write it down.

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.

1. 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.

2. Let a will writing service store it

If you use a will writing service they will 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 were damaged or lost, or if the service went out of business. Always ask to keep a copy yourself.

3. 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 is, at 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.

There’s more information about storing your will with the Probate Service on the HM Courts and Tribunal Service website.

To find your local Probate Service in your area to make an application to store your will, use the GOV.UK website ‘find the right court or tribunal’ tool.

4. 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: Free.
  • Cons: Risky, as the will might be thrown away or damaged accidentally.

IMPORTANT: Never attach other documents to the will with staples, paperclips or anything else. They leave a mark on the will, raising questions about whether the will is missing a part or an amendment.

This makes things more difficult for your executor, which can be costly and time consuming.

For example, they might contact one of the witnesses to attest whether the document is the one they witnessed being signed.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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