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Wills & Probate

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Frequently Asked Questions

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InHouse Wills & Probate

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Storing a Will

It is no good making a Will if it goes missing when it is needed. Hence your Will needs to be kept safe and stored professionally - but you never need to pay regularly for the service and we include your Will on the National Will Register

Storing a Will


Keeping a Will at home is never a good idea. All too easily it can be lost, stolen or accidentally thrown away. In some situations it can even be destroyed deliberately by someone who does not like what the Will says!

Whatever the cause, if you have kept the Will yourself but when it is needed the original document cannot be found then the law assumes you have no Will at all. It is the original document that is needed (not a copy). Even if the original is not lost, if you keep it at home it may have become damaged causing the Probate Office to question its validity later on.

Storing a Will - the old fashioned wayIn the past solicitors simply stored Wills in their office, sometimes in wooden document holders just like this one. Whilst it might have stopped a Will simply being lost, it was no protection against fire, damp or other problems.

Your local bank might store it for you for an annual charge, but if you move or change banks it might not be found in the future. In any event, the bank might not let anyone access your stored papers without a grant of Probate - but your executors cannot get a grant of Probate without first getting hold of the papers - a real “catch 22” situation.

That is why we recommend professional Will storage – somewhere where it will be kept safe but also where it can be found and properly retrieved. At InHouse we can arrange proper storage of your Will as a standard part of our current Will writing service, with NO ongoing annual charges. Your Will is kept in fireproof storage under the protection of a major national specialist company who currently look after more than 100,000 Wills. You are issued with certificates for yourself and your family. That way your Will is kept safe (and private) until it is needed and your family know exactly where to find it. Meanwhile, we make sure that you have a copy of the Will for your own records so that you always have something to refer to when reviewing your Will from time to time.

The storage service currently includes access to a free Probate Helpline, to give advice to you and to your Executors.

Recently we have been able to add even greater benefit to our service; all new Wills stored in this manner are being included on the National Will Register. This is done without any cost to you, saving you a fee of around £30.00 per Will if you wanted to register your own Will. Being on the register means that even if your family lose all paper records of your Will, the Will can still be located by a search of the register once you have passed away. But of course, during your lifetime any record of your Will still remains completely private.

Unlike InHouse, many other firms make annual charges for the storage of Wills - although they often hide that fact until the last minute. Some firms may include Will storage as part of an expensive package of services, such as ‘pre-paid probate’ which is rarely a good idea.

If you are paying regularly for storage of your Will,  contact us today to talk about how to save your money.