Where should the original Will be kept?

Written by Terry Johansson | 27th September 2013

Due to the serious nature of the Will, the original document should be stored in a safe place. It is a good idea to store it with your other important documents such as your birth certificate, marriage certificate or passport, so that it can easily be found after your death. It may also be a good idea to provide a close family member with a copy of your Will so that more than one (1) copy is available.

Some people place their original Will with their solicitors or with their bank. Solicitors do not usually charge a fee to keep a Will and will usually give you a copy for your records.

You do not have to tell your family members or friends that you have a Will, or what is in it, if you do not wish to.  However, it is recommended that you do let some people know that you have a Will and the whereabouts of the original document.

Do not try to hide your Will as there is always the risk that the executor may not be able to find it after your death. The executor usually must have the original Will to apply for probate and administer the Estate.

If a Will cannot be found, it is presumed that the testator intentionally destroyed the Will, thereby cancelling it. This may be able to be proved otherwise, however if not, the result may be that the Estate is distributed according to the Intestacy Rules, or as set out in an earlier Will.

When storing an original Will, it should be ensured that nothing is attached to the Will and it should not be marked in any way. If care is not taken and the Will is damaged in any way, including by staple or paperclip marks, disputes may arise as to the validity of the Will.

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