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Storing your will

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Having made your will the question arises as to where it should be kept. There may be many years between you making your will and dying and it is important that it can be easily located by your loved ones after your death.

Where can I store my will?

The main places for storing a will are as follows:

With your solicitors

If your will was drawn up by solicitors they will normally offer to store it on your behalf. They may, however, charge for storing your will and you should check with them whether that is the case.

With your bank

Most banks will be happy to store your will for you and will charge you for this service. You should not, however, store your will in a safety deposit box at your bank as the box will not be able to be opened until probate has been granted. Probate cannot be granted without producing the original will.

At the Principal Registry of the Family Division

The Principal Registry of the Family Division is part of the High Court. If you want your will to be stored by the Principal Registry you should contact one of the offices of the Probate Registry. The Probate Registry has offices throughout England and Wales. There is a one-off fee payable for storing a will at the Principal Registry, currently £15.00.

Keeping it yourself

There is nothing to stop you from storing your will yourself. However, you should make sure that your executors know where to find it in the event of your death.

What would happen if my will cannot be found upon my death?

A large number of people die “intestate” every year. It is a common perception that the rules of intestacy only apply where a person dies without making a will. However, the rules of intestacy also apply where a will has been made but cannot later be found. If the will cannot be found, the law will presume that the will was never written in the first place. For this reason it may be prudent to register your will with a company who specialises in registering wills as well as ensuring that it is kept in a safe place.

If your will cannot be found your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy which may result in your estate being distributed other than in accordance with your wishes.

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Single Will or Mirror Wills?

If you are a couple and wish to leave all your assets to each other then you could save money by making  Mirror Wills. You can also use Mirror Wills if you whish to leave your estate to the same beneficiaries. 
If you wish to leave different legacies, appoint different executors or you would like to specify individual funeral wishes then you will need to make two Single Wills.
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