WHERE IS THE PROPER CUSTODY OF A WILL?
After writing a will, there is a need to make sure is kept in a safe place where your executors (and no-one else) can find it, because the executor will need the original will to handle your affairs efficiently when they need it. It is pertinent to place will where it’s safe from theft, fire, or other damage. It is also important to ensure that those who will administer and proof the will find it after testator’s death. The Will can be kept in the following places:
PERSONAL SAFE DEPOSIT BOX
A Will can be kept personally by the testator himself. This can be done through various means. It is advisable to keep your will where none of the beneficiaries or third parties can see it. The content of the will is supposed to be made known after the death of the testator. Your home is probably the easiest place for your executors to find your will since it will probably be the first place they look if you haven’t told them otherwise.
A safe-deposit box in your home is one possibility, although it may be difficult for your personal representative to access your safe-deposit box after your death. The will is of no use if after the death of the testator, no one can have access on how to open the box. So it is expedient to grant access to your personal representative, so that in the event of death, they can gain access to the Will.
AT THE PROBATE REGISTRY
Storage at the probate registry is one of the options of keeping a will in safe custody. This is the best place to keep a will. Keeping the will within the jurisdiction the will was made is the best alternative. The procedures which a testator must comply with before his will is accepted and kept at the probate registry can also be an advantage and also operate in favour of the Will, should the validity of the contents of the Will be contested by anyone on the ground that the testator lacked a sound mind when making the Will. It’s very crucial that the Will submitted for Probate is the latest Will. This will ensure that the correct person is applying to administer the Estate.
Banks have vaults for safekeeping key items belonging to customers, including legal documents such as property deeds, certificates, wills etc. A smart way of keeping some of your valuable assets is storing them in the safe deposit box of your bank. Banks have safe deposit boxes, which they can lease out to customers annually, but the only problem is that your executors will have no right to access your stored documents until they have a Grant of Probate.
WITH A TRUSTED FRIEND OR RELATION
A will can be kept with a trusted friend or relation. The most important thing is that they make it available upon the death of the testator. It is advisable to keep it in the possession of a much younger trusted friend or relation. This is because there is a strong presumption that the older will predecease the younger.
A COPY LEFT WITH THE SOLICITOR WHO PREPARED THE WILL.
A copy of the will can also be left with the solicitor who prepared it. Solicitors often offer Will storage without charging anything. It is often believed that the number of Will in storage has a big influence on the value of a solicitors practice. Be that as it may, the solicitor plays a huge role on the storage of a will.
EXECUTOR/PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE APPOINTED IN THE WILL.
Some people also give a copy to their personal representative. Usually the reading of a will doesn’t happen until after a funeral. So you’d want your personal representative to have a copy on hand, to be able to carry out your funeral wishes.
In conclusion, it is significant to say that making a will is very important and should be embraced by all, to protect the interest of loved ones and ensure one’s assets are properly managed and properly kept for fulfillment of the wish of the testator.
WRITTEN BY: CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM
TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080