Where Should You Store Your Will?
The difficult part of contemplating the image of death and its aftermath is over. Your wishes are now clearly set out and your loved ones are well-provided for. But there is still one final step.
In order for your will to be properly executed, your Executor must possess or have access to your will to apply to the Family Justice Courts for Grant of Probate. Therefore, it is important to safely store your will and ensure it is available to your Executor.
What you need to consider
Safety is the foremost consideration in deciding where to store your will. It has to be kept in a safe place where it cannot be easily tampered with or destroyed. A tampered will could have illegitimate corrections, smudged ink and even torn pages. This may result in dreaded legal contests over the validity of your will. It is also important that it is accessible to your Executor when you pass on.
Surprisingly, many people do not take adequate care in storing their will and simply leave it at home. Not only can your will be easily misplaced, it may even be accidentally destroyed under unforeseen circumstances. For instance, your domestic helper may even have accidentally thrown away your will without your knowledge. Also, your Executor may have to conduct a search of your home for the will which takes up a lot of unnecessary time and resources.
Thankfully, there are other options to store your will today.
There are many professional will custody service options that keep your will in a safe and secure environment. Some firms offer the service of keeping a digital copy and then keeping the original will in a fire and waterproof vault. This prevents tampering and forgery. These services cost around $80 per annum or $800 for lifetime custody.
Deposit boxes in financial institutions
Local financial institutions such as DBS do provide safe deposit box services where you can keep your will. This security however is costlier as the rates are around $250 per annum for a small-sized box. This option could be useful if you have other valuable items that you would like to be kept secured such as expensive jewellery and title deeds.
Register your information at the Wills Registry
The Wills Registry also allows you to deposit your will information with them which will help your loved ones to gain access to your will. Maintained by the Public Trustee, the Wills Registry is a confidential registry where testators (people making a will) can conveniently deposit their will information for a small fee of $50. This information will be kept in the system for 120 years from the date of birth of the person making the will.
Information kept under the Wills Registry:
- Details of the person making the will
- Date of the will
- Details of the person who drew up the will
- Details of where the will is held
Do note that your actual will not be kept in the registry.
The advantage of utilising the Will Registry is that your loved ones will be made aware that you have made a will, and will know how to retrieve your will. This is regardless of whether you keep the will in a safe place at home, in a safe deposit box or under will custody.
You may fill in a form online in order to deposit your will information with the Wills Registry.
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