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Wills storage

Once you have executed your will, it is important that the original is kept securely and your family can locate it when necessary. The original will is needed to obtain probate; only in very rare circumstances is a copy acceptable

You must not staple anything to the original will or punch holes in it. It is also important to ensure the original is not damaged or defaced, otherwise the Probate Registry may decide that an attempt has been made to revoke the will and refuse to allow it to probate. This could lead to an earlier will being admitted or you being considered as dying intestate.

After you have taken the time, effort and expense to have your will properly prepared, you must think carefully about its long-term storage. Keeping your will at home may not be the best solution. There is always a risk it may be affected by fire, theft, water damage, accidental disposal, beneficiaries with ill intent or some other unforeseen factor.

We understand the danger of these risks and the importance of secure long-term storage. We offer a variety of storage solutions to suit your needs. These are as follows:

Principal Probate Registry, London

  • As your agents, we will attend the Principal Probate Registry (High Holborn, London) and deposit your will.
  • A Certificate of Deposit is issued by the Probate Registry with your unique reference number and sent directly to you.
  • As testator, you are able to access your will during your lifetime. Your executor(s) can only gain access upon receipt of your certified death certificate and they will need to accompany this with proof of their identity.
  • The cost is £70, including a £20 issue fee paid to the Probate Registry.

Register the location of your will with Certainty, the National Will Register

  • You store your will separately and the details of the location of the original will are registered with Certainty.
  • Executors with a valid copy of your death certificate, as well as proof of identity, can search the Certainty register to find out if the location of your original will has been registered.
  • Certainty do not hold a copy of your will. They only record details of the testator’s name, the date the will was signed, details of the executor(s) and where the will is located.
  • The cost is £40, including a £30 fee payable to Certainty.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Contact our wills team

Phone us: +44 (0) 20 7759 5531

South Africa

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708
Cape Town
t: +27 (0) 21 657 2120

United Kingdom

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
London
WC1A 1DG
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

Australia

Suite 8.06
9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
Melbourne VIC 3141
t: +613 (0) 86 514 500

Hong Kong

Level 1102
The Lee Gardens
33 Hysan Avenue
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
t: +852 3959 8681

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