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Murray Beith Murray is a leading Scottish private client law firm.

For over 170 years we have specialised in meeting the legal, financial and administrative needs of individuals and families, family trusts, charities and private companies.

Call us today on 0131 225 1200
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Where should a Will be stored and who should know about it?

Andrew Paterson It would be fair to say that solicitors who deal with estates sometimes need to spend time trying to discover whether someone who has died, made a Will whilst they were alive. Clients who make a Will should be applauded. However, having done that, it is important to decide where the Will should be stored and who should know about it.

Where should a Will be stored?

Perhaps the first part of this conundrum is not so hard to answer. If your solicitor has advised you and drawn up your Will for you, they will almost certainly offer to store your Will for you. When they do that, your solicitor would normally store your Will in a secure location. This ensures it will not be destroyed by fire, flood or some other catastrophe.

Your Solicitor should also provide you with a copy of your Will. We recommend you store this with your important personal papers to make it easy to find by your family or representatives.

If you decide to store your original Will yourself, you should make sure you store it in a fireproof safe or storage box. You should then place that fireproof box in a location that is unlikely to be flooded or otherwise damaged by water ingress. The important aspect of all this is, having made your Will, to ensure your Will is held safe from harm. The original Will normally requires to be submitted to the Court after death with the Application for Confirmation/Probate.

If you decide to ask your solicitor to store your Will, should your solicitor cease to practice or merge with another law firm, you can contact the Law Society of Scotland to find out where your Will has gone as they maintain records in that regard.

In contrast to some countries, there is no national Will Register in any part of the United Kingdom.

Who should I tell I have made a Will?

This might be stating the obvious, but you should tell your executors that you have made a Will (and named them executors). You should also tell them where the principal Will is stored. You do not need to tell your executors or anyone else what your Will contains, simply that it exists.

It is also prudent to tell your immediate family where the Will is held unless there are good reasons for withholding this information. If you do not have any family members you wish to share the information with, you might consider telling any close friends about the location of your Will.

Making your executors and family aware of the location of your Will is likely to save time dealing with the administration of your estate after your death. If your Will contains details of your preferred funeral arrangements, your executors will be able to quickly check your wishes.

Specialist Wills Lawyers, Edinburgh

Murray Beith Murray Partner, Andrew Paterson, specialises in succession and estate planning and is an expert in Will writing. If you would like to discuss any of the issues covered in this article, or if you require assistance with any other matter, please complete our contact form or call us on 0131 225 1200.

Murray Beith Murray was established in 1849, as advisors for generations of clients, committed to our values of integrity, expertise and trust. This aim and these values continue to this day, as does our commitment to be here when you need us.

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