Will Storage keeping your Last Will secure and more

Secure Storage for your Last Will and testament is vital.

If your Last Will cannot be found when you die, it is probable that everything will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy.

  • Home safes are likely to incinerate Wills in a fire as the internal temperature rises.
  • Banks may not release anything until probate is granted, which it can’t be until they release your documents.
  • Storing your Last Will at home leaves them open to being lost or damaged or “lost” by the bitter spouses of disappointed beneficiaries after your death, among other issues.
  • The biggest problem is that you will NOT be up to speed in developments in Tax and the Law since you stored your Last Will.
  • Nor will you be reminded each year to check things in the light of family developments.   Many people end up invalidating their Wills and have no idea they have done so.
  • Ongoing advice is essential – but you have to know you need it!
  • Lots of people never sign their Wills properly, so they are never valid in the first place.

So a better Will Storage system is needed.

The Probate Registry themselves offer a cheap and cheerful Will storage service, send them a special envelope and they will pop it into a vault and send you a flimsy storage certificate to lose.  And it only costs £20, one off.  Details below.

We have a better (if more expensive) service provided by Will Custodian Ltd (our principals own it but it is not part of our solicitors practice).  Contact us for the details (or use the enquiry form at the foot of the page).  Their service offers

  • Secures storage
  • Laminated storage certificates for you and your executors.
  • Annual Checklist to see whether family issues mean review is needed.
  • Annual Newsletter to update you on relevant changes in tax, the law etc.
  • Free advice (but not free amendments) – just a discount on those.
  • How?  Stick it in an envelope with the direct debit and send it to us recorded delivery (for your own safety).
  • Unlike the Probate Registry, we will also store Powers of Attorney etc at a small extra cost.
  • A check that the Last Will seems to have been signed correctly.
So it is pretty unlikely we will be storing a Last Will as the relevant people would have storage certificates.

A Basic Option: The Probate Registries Will Storage £20 service is as follows:

  • Your Last Will can be deposited either by you or by someone else on your behalf.
  • If you deposit your Last Will and codicil at the same time together in the same envelope the fee is still £20,  payable to HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

Will brought in by you in person.

Take your will to the Probate Registry of your choice (check opening times beforehand). They give you an envelope to complete as follows:

  • The document(s) being deposited.
  • The date of your will
  • Your full name.
  • Your full address.
  • The full names and addresses of your executors.
  • Your date of birth.

In the presence of an officer of the Probate Registry seal your Last Will and testament inside the envelope and sign the envelope at the proper place. The Probate Officer will then sign the envelope, you pay, and they send the envelope to the Principal Registry of the Family Division for safe keeping. You will either be issued with a certificate of deposit straight away or your certificate of deposit will be posted.

Will sent in by you by post.

  • Get a safe custody pack from either a District Probate Registry, Probate Sub-Registry or the Record Keeper’s Department (Tel: 020 7947 7022). Complete all the details requested.

Seal your will inside the envelope and in the presence of a witness sign the envelope at the proper place. Your witness must also sign the envelope and print his/her name and address.

Send your will (by registered or recorded post) with a signed letter requesting that your will be lodged at First Avenue House and enclose the £20.00 fee to:

Record Keeper’s Department PRFD First Avenue House 42 – 49 High Holborn
London WC1V 6NP.

Wills sent in by post can only be accepted at the above address.

Storage for your Last Will.

Remember we are NOT the Probate Registry and it is very unlikely a Will stored with us will not be found easily unless the deceased AND the executors have all lost their laminated A4 storage certificates!