As a legal document, once your Will has been written, signed and witnessed it should be treated with care and securely stored to prevent damage by fire or water, loss, theft or tampering. A lost or damaged Will means that making your Will was in vain and that your estate would be subject to the rules of intestacy (See our page on Intestacy) thereby resulting in your wishes not being fulfilled and possibly excessive Inheritance Tax or other charges being paid. Your home is not the right place to store your Will, unless you have a fireproof (not fire resistant) safe.
The benefits of the the Document Storage service are:
1. For a modest fee (see our List of Services page) your Will (or Wills, if you have a spouse, civil partner or informal partner) and any other important documents are in safe storage for the remainder of your life!
2. Every Will and document is checked for validity. This is a simple but essential check to ensure the Will has been properly executed in accordance with the law, and that there are two witnesses, neither of whom has been named in the Will.
3. Once the documents have been processed you will receive a Certificate of Custody and two Executor ID cards which are handed to your executors in order that they have a separate record of where the documents are stored
4. For added security, your executors will not be able to retrieve the Will without first producing a death certificate and proof of their identity.
5. The Will is dispatched promptly, normally within 24 – 48 hours, following receipt of retrieval notice along with proof of ID and the death certificate
6. All documents are insured against loss or damage
7. Where the surviving spouse/civil partner, family or friends have been appointed as executors, a free help line is available to The Trust Corporation, the Society’s sister company.
8. There is a free review of your Will every three years. This could be particularly significant where your circumstances have changed.