If you decide to keep your original Will at home you may be taking some considerable and unnecessary risks. This is because in order to obtain a Grant of Probate your Executors will need to present the original Will to the Probate Registry, a copy will not suffice. It is therefore vitally important your Will be kept safe and secure.
There are several options to ensure that your original Will is found when it is needed most. You could store the original document with the Probate Registry. A fee is payable for this service and if you want to review your Will and make changes you will have to gain access to it by filling in a form and following a certain procedure, some people have found this to be a slow process but it would certainly be better than keeping the document at home.
You could keep your Will in a safe deposit box at a bank, this would likely be the most expensive option and few banks offer this service nowadays. Another significant problem is that after your death in order to release the content of the box, the bank will require evidence of the Executor’s authority to access the safe deposit box and since the will is in that box executors may find themselves in a tricky situation.
Many people choose to store their Will with the firm who produced it, this may not always be an option but where it is, competitive fees an flexible access make this an attractive proposition. Also some firms offer free updates to documents that they are storing, adding even more convenience.
Whatever you decide it is always good practice to let your Executors know that you have made a Will and where the original is being stored. We would also recommend having a copy kept at home for your own personal reference.