There are different ways that your Will can be stored to keep it safe. You can store it in your home, give it to a family member to look after, store it with a solicitor or will writer at their offices or put it in a storage facility. Some of these options are free and some come at a small cost. As the saying goes ‘you get what you pay for’ and this could not be truer with storage options. So what is the best option to ensure that your original Will is safe and that the people who need it can find it easily, quickly and in good condition?

Storing at home- free and not very safe

Whilst storing your Will at home or with a family member is certainly the cheapest option is it the safest and best option? If you are intending to store your Will at home or giving it to a family member to look after, you need to ensure that it is not at risk of being damaged by fire or flood, lost in the home, stolen or tampered with. Can you guarantee that this won’t happen?

Storing with solicitors at their offices- there’s no such thing as a free lunch

Some providers, such as solicitors, will offer to store your Will at their offices at no cost. Usually this is on the basis that the solicitors firm will be able to charge further costs later down the line through another service such as probate and estate administration when the person having made the Will dies. Whilst there is nothing wrong with them doing this, offering a free service in the first instance often means very little work is actually done to ensure the safety of your Will. What happens to your Will if the solicitors go out of business or merge with another firm? How do your Executors know where to find your Will? How do your Executors know which solicitors prepared your Will? How quickly can the solicitor get it out of storage and give it to your Executors? How good is their system for finding your Will when it’s needed? If your Executor(s) can’t find your most up to date Will when you die there is a risk of your estate being distributed on the basis of a previously revoked (cancelled) Will or, if the original Will cannot be found at all, then your estate could be distributed as if you died without having made a Will (intestate).

Storing with Wills & Wishes Legal – a small affordable cost for peace of mind

Wills & Wishes Legal offers storage for your Will and other important documents with the National Will Archive. They have been storing over hundreds and thousands of legal documents for over 20 years and are one of the first ports of call for an Executor trying to find a Will. You can store your Will, lasting powers of attorney, house deeds or any other important documents. So what does the service include? Let’s take a look…

Firstly, all documents that arrive at the National Will Archive store are checked. If you’re storing a Will with them, they check that your Will has been signed and witnessed correctly and that any beneficiaries haven’t also been witnesses. A beneficiary cannot witness a Will otherwise they lose their entitlement to any gift made to them in it. If any errors are identified, the documents are returned.

Secondly, each page of a document is individually scanned without the document being taken apart. This means that in the unlikely event that a document goes missing after it’s left the store, they’re able to provide a copy along with an affidavit to say that the document existed and that they have seen it.

Thirdly, every document is logged onto their database along with the scanned copy before submitting the paper document into a dedicated box within the facility. The database is backed up every day and the back up is taken off site at night. The facility is a fully insured and super secure new building fitted with fire and intruder alarms and security lighting. The door is electronically locked and fob controlled.

Fourth, they send out a ‘certificate of safe custody’ with 2 retrieval cards so one card can be kept by you and the other card can be given to one of your Executors.

Fifth, every Will is also registered with Certainty who are a National Will Register ensuring that when you die your Executor(s) can find the most up to date Will.

Finally, when the time comes for a document to be retrieved from storage, they aim to post the documents out within 24 -48 hours of receiving the request by either Royal Mail Signed For or Special Delivery before 1PM for extra security and GDPR compliance. Staff are on hand from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday to assist with any queries.

Such a great service cannot be done for free. It’s just not possible. The good news though is that it doesn’t cost much for peace of mind that your original documents are safe and that the people who need them can find them easily, quickly and in good condition. Please let us know if you would like Wills & Wishes Legal to arrange the safe storage of your documents.

We’d love to help you. For further details and more information please call Fiona on 07799 213 721 or email

We can help you with Wills, lasting powers of attorney, trusts, executor assistance for probate and document storage.

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