Looking After Your Will
It is very important to ensure that your Will is kept safe and in good condition so that, after your death, your executors have no problem “proving” the will at the Probate Registry. Your executors will need to find the Will itself and therefore it makes sense to take steps to ensure that they will know where to find it.
Gilbert Stephens LLP is happy to store your Will in one of our secure Will stores. During your lifetime we will only release the Will or provide copies or any information about its contents on your specific instruction to do so. After your death we will only release the Will to your executors and only after they have provided us with a death certificate.
Some banks and other commercial providers offer similar services and their charges vary, the Probate Registry may store your will for a fee (currently £20.00) but our Will Storage service is free of charge.
When we store a client’s Will we always provide the client with a copy of that Will for them to keep safely at home. We hope that following death the executors will find the copy. If it is a Will that Gilbert Stephens drafted the copy will have our name and address on it, so the executors should know who to ask about the whereabouts of the Will itself. However, we recommend that Wills are registered with Certainty: the National Will Register.
Certainty.co.uk is a national Wills register. Registering your Will with Certainty is uncomplicated and effective. Not being able to locate a Will causes untold distress and the potential financial loss for a family, or beneficiaries. This is why we recommend that you do so.
Certainty does not see a copy of your Will to register it. Registration simply records the existence and the location of your Will on Certainty: the National Will Register, so that the people you have left your estate to, or those you have chosen to be your executors, can find it when you have passed away. Registration ensures that if beneficiaries and executors are unaware that you have written a Will or forget where it’s located, it can be easily found by conducting a Register Will Search.
The existence of your Will and its location are confidential. Only when you have passed away can your Will’s location be declared. Even then, it will be disclosed only when the person searching for your Will has a genuine, bona fide interest and that person can provide a copy of your death certificate.
If you wish to take advantage of our free Will Storage Service or to register your Will with Certainty then please contact one of the lawyers in our Private Client team.