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Hiding a will and not letting anyone know where it is can cause confusion and delays when it comes to allocating your assets, meaning that belongings may not be distributed as you intended.
What happens if your will goes missing?

What happens if you write a will, hide it, but no one knows where it is?

Many years ago, Harry made a will. It requests for his house and his great-grandfather's watch go to his son, Tom. Tom and his sister, Sarah, are unaware of his wishes or where the will is kept.

Tom and Sarah look for Harry’s will after he has passed away. Tom believes that, as the eldest, the house has been left to him, while Sarah thinks her dad would have split the property between them.

Tom applies for a grant of probate in order to sell the property. As they don’t have the will to refer to, this becomes a lengthy process and causes stress and arguments between the two.

Upon selling the house, the funds are divided evenly between Tom and Sarah. The watch that was intended to go to Tom was sold as neither sibling realised its importance.

None of what Harry detailed in his will came to pass and the lack of documents caused contention between his children. His home was dealt with under the rules of intestacy rather than being distributed according to his wishes, and treasured items were sold.

Even if you don't want your loved ones to know what's in your will until they need to, it's important that you tell them where it's kept. Not only will this reduce the stress your family needs to go through after your death, it will ensure your wishes are honoured.

Ways to store your will

 

  •         Keep it in a safe place and let your executor know where it is.
  •         Lodge it with the Probate Service (England and Wales).
  •         Leave it with a solicitor.

The content of this article is not a substitute for comprehensive legal advice, and is solely available for information purposes. For tailored advice about writing your will or how best to store it, the team at Which? Legal are here to help. Call 0117 456 6020 to find out more.

 

 

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