A fire-proof filing box can keep important documents safe, like your Will.
Once you’ve confirmed the details in your Will and it’s properly signed and witnessed what should happen next? 
 
It’s easy to forget how important it is, after taking the trouble to write your Will, to keep it safe and make sure it’s easy to find. 
During your final meeting with your Will writer, you should ideally discuss how you intend to store your documents. 
 
You can: 
keep the documents in a safe place yourself 
make professional storage arrangements. 
 

Storing your Will at home 

You might want to keep your documents at home so they’re easy to find when you die. You might put them in a cupboard, filing cabinet or folder. However, there are some risks with this approach you should think about first. For example: 
 
your documents could be destroyed if there’s a flood or fire at your home 
you could forget where you’ve put your Will 
someone else could unintentionally move or destroy your Will 
someone not acting in your best interests could remove or destroy your Will. 
 
If you’re happy that your Will is safe at home, just let your Will writer know this is what you want to do. 
 

Professional Will storage 

Professional storage is a secure and safe option. Many Will writers offer this service themselves or via a specialist storage company. The advantage is that your Will is in a known location. It’s also protected from loss, theft, accidental or malicious damage. If you wish, you can also store other important documents like property deeds, LPAs or insurance documents in the same place. 
 
Your executors can retrieve your Will easily with checks before your Will is released to them for extra peace of mind. For example, your executors will need a copy of your death certificate and proof of their identity. 
 
Some storage providers like The National Will Archive also check Wills to confirm they’re legally valid. They scan copies to provide digital records when a Will is deposited or withdrawn. They might also provide ID cards for people authorised to access stored Wills and register the documents stored. They also register all stored Wills with The National Will Register. For a fee this provides extra certainty about the document’s existence and location. 
 

Looking after important documents 

It’s a good idea to keep scanned or paper copies as a back-up along with any relevant agreements, letters, notes and drafts as well as your final documents. 
 
Ideally, you should also plan a date to review the contents of your Will and other important documents. It’s surprising how many things can change. Take a fresh look every three to five years, just to confirm everything is up to date. 
 
Please get in touch if you’re considering writing a Will for the first time or updating your existing Will. I can make storage arrangements on your behalf, if you wish. 
Tagged as: Wills
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