As important as writing your Will is, it is equally important to keep it safe and in a location that is easily found when the time comes for it to be needed. As such, we are adamant that our clients must be sure their documents are stored in a secure safe to protect against fire, water, theft, loss and tampering. If the Will is lost or damaged at the time of death, your thoughtful estate planning will be disregarded, even if your chosen executors knew your wishes.
Family Wills provides a will storage service to ensure that your executors are able to action your wishes. We will also store your original Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) documents as part of this service. We have decided to provide this service as a direct result of one of our client’s experiences.
Our client was offered Will storage but he was happy he had a “safe place for his documents”. He even took the precaution of giving his executors an unsigned copy of his Will and Family Wills’ contact details. When they called us for the signed Will, we had to let them know that our client had chosen to keep the original document himself and that it should be among his possessions – it wasn’t; they found everything but the Will. Ultimately the Will was ruled to be presumed revoked by destruction.
This meant that our client had now died intestate and through that law, in his case, this meant that his parents now inherited his estate. It therefore fell to our client’s parents either to distribute the estate according to his wishes through a Deed of Variation, both timely and expensive, or to allow all the assets to default to them. In the end, the parents got their letters of administration and all his assets. The people our client wanted to benefit got nothing.
Nobody will ever know what happened to the Will. Maybe our client intended to revoke his Will. What we do know is that if we had held the Will in storage for him then his wishes would have been carried out.
If you choose to forego a specialty storage facility for your Will, be sure to store your documents as advised and be sure to let your executors know where to find your Will and how to access it.