I am delighted when a client approves his draft Will. At this point, I prepare the Will for signing on high quality paper and bind the pages together to prevent them falling out, or new ones sneakily stapled in.
It is at this stage that my client decides where to store his Will. In my humble opinion he has four choices; at home, at the bank, at the Probate Service or with the National Will Safe.
Storing a Will in the home is asking for trouble. Apart from the obvious fire and burglary risk, the greater issues are that the Will is simply lost, damaged or torn because it is not cared for correctly, for example, the dog can chew it up or the children could draw on it. In extreme cases, anybody may stumble on the Will and find its contents are not to their liking. Then, in one swift action, they make it invalid.
Storing a Will in a safety deposit box at the bank is slightly more preferable than at home. However, banks are not exactly promoting safety boxes nowadays because of lack of space and they charge high fees for the privilege. The bank manager requires permission from the owner before he will open the box, which is rather difficult if his customer has died! Of course, the executor can produce a death certificate, but when emotions are stretched, this is an added difficulty.
Depositing your Will with the Probate Service is a secure option for many people. It is important to remember that the storage service works on a per Will basis rather than a per client basis. This means it is possible to have more than one Will stored there and the wrong one returned.
By far the most effective option is to deposit a Will with National Will Safe Document Storage. This company provides purpose built secure storage facilities for legal documents. Documents are stored per client, there is full insurance cover in the unlikely event the Will is lost and you can access the Will many times, free of charge. Executors receive an identity card with pin code to access the Will when it is required. In addition, the Willwriter receives a copy of all correspondence, which makes access convenient, but does not compromise safekeeping. There is a small annual charge, but this is insignificant compared to the trauma of losing a Will or the Probate Registrar declaring it invalid.
After making a great effort to prepare a Will, why compromise on its safekeeping?