It’s a great feeling to finally complete your estate plan and know that you, your family and your assets are protected. After completing this important and necessary task with the help of your Wills & estate planning lawyer in Adelaide, you can get on with enjoying your life rather than contemplating your mortality. However, there’s one more step you need to take to ensure that your beneficiaries receive what is rightfully theirs without any hassle: You must properly store the original Will and inform the right people of its location. This simple task ensures that when the time comes, your executors can get to work doing their job of carrying out your wishes as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Will Storage in South Australia
Currently in South Australia, you are not required to file or store your Will with the courts or any governmental body. You’ll need to find a secure place to store your Will, and you must ensure that it remains in pristine condition, which means keeping it in an envelope or other protective covering, keeping the original staples or binding intact and not making any alterations to it. Without the unaltered, original Will in hand, your executor will face numerous obstacles when attempting to obtain a grant of probate.
Do’s and Don’ts
- DO store your Will where others can find it – If anything happens to your Will, or if your executor doesn’t know where to find it, you might as well not have written one. You need to decide how to look after your Will, then let your executor know where it is.
- DON’T keep your original Will in a bank safety deposit box. When someone dies, the bank can’t open the deposit box until the executor gets probate (permission from the court to administer your affairs) – and probate can’t be granted without the Will. Always make sure that your Will can be accessed without probate.
- DO tell your executor where your Will is – once you’ve made your decision about how to deposit your Will for safekeeping, it’s essential to make sure that your executors know where it is and how to get it.
- DON’T attach other documents to the Will with staples, paperclips or anything else. They leave a mark on the Will, raising questions about whether the Will is missing a part or an amendment. This makes things more difficult for your executor.
- DO be aware of the risks of storing your Will at home. Your Will could be damaged or destroyed by a fire or flood. Someone in your home could inadvertently/accidentally or even intentionally destroy your Will. Family members may not be able to find your Will at home, particularly if your important papers are not well organized.
- DON’T store Powers of Attorney documents in a safety deposit box at a bank or credit union. The named Attorney may not be able to access the box to retrieve the very document that gives them legal authority to deal with your assets. The best location for these documents are either in your own home in a locked box or at your lawyer’s office.
- DO find a secure place for one or more copies of your Will. You may want to keep it at home in a fireproof filing cabinet or have a trusted friend or family member do the same in his or her home. You may choose to store your Will along with other significant documents in a filing cabinet or safe. A safety deposit box at your bank is another option for copies of your important documents. Whatever location you choose, make sure that you tell your loved ones where the original Will is located.
5 Benefits of Storing your Will with Genders & Partners
- Your Adelaide Wills & estate planning lawyers at Genders & Partners are specialists in Wills & Estate Planning AND Probate & Estate Administration. They are one of the very few firms to truly specialise in these areas of law.
- Once Genders & Partners create your Will, they will retain the original and hold it in safe custody on your behalf at no additional fee.
- Genders & Partners provide excellent secure document storage facilities, giving you additional peace-of-mind.
- Your privacy and confidentiality is assured because family members cannot access the Will without lawful authority.
- You may worry about the longevity of your lawyer or his law firm and what will happen in the future. As the oldest law firm in South Australia we have a proven track record of knowing how to plan for the future, including the future of our law firm which is a company and will live on after the death of any individual lawyer.
You can trust Genders & Partners to help you with every aspect of Adelaide Wills & estate planning. As the oldest law firm in South Australia (established 1848) our firm has over 160 years of experience with probate & deceased estates in Adelaide, and we are committed to working with you to help you plan for the future so that you can feel a sense of peace about the distribution of your estate. Contact our Adelaide law office today to set up your free telephone consultation.