Making a Will

I done the making, with lockdown and dearly beloved shielding and unable to get an audiology appointment it has taken time.
My question is that in the UK it is possible to lodge a copy of the will at the Probate Registry. Accepting that if you do so you must then remember to lodge any updates as well, it seems like a good idea. So why is the solicitor so against it. They know they are not appointed executors, we have paid up front for their storage so in theory it is not income related.
Does anyone have any experience?

When my parents died, I was the executor. When dad died, I went to the solicitor to get the will. Shock horror. Closed for good.
I eventually found that a junior partner had moved to another team of solicitors. He had taken all the old paperwork with him fortunately.
I ask him what would have happened if I could not find the original will.
He told me that it effectively does not exist any more if the keeper does not have it. He also said there is no legal procedure in place that guarantees safe storage of wills and that it is up to the individual to continually check that it is in safe hands.
I guess the answer is to make several identical copies and lodge them with different people.

Or lodge with the Probate Registry which the OP’s solicitor oddly is discouraging… I was actually unaware that that could be done, so this thread is of interest.

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I don’t know, but I’d be surprised if you could.

We keep digital copies of our wills, along with cloud backup etc. in case the paper copy is lost, in addition to our solicitors copy, so I think we have it covered.

(Not directly relevant, but I wonder how many people think they have a will only to discover that it’s invalid in certain circumstances, such as if you made it before getting married.)

The instructions for lodging a will together with the fees payable are here:

Best

David

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Thats really good to know, thanks!

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Sad that I am, I remembered lodging from a D*ck Francis novel. When we originally made wills I did so and also gave sealed copies to the executors. Our copy was in a filing cabinet in a spare bedroom. Sadly this cabinet was under the loft water tank, it failed and somehow filled every drawer of the cabinet. We felt reasonably safe knowing there were copies, that is until we discovered all four partners of solicitors had retired at the same time.
The new solicitors answer was that lodging is not necessary.

I remember my solicitor mentioning this, but gave an explanation of why it was not recommended. Since it was 10 years ago, I cannot remember the details, but it was a valid reason and you should not rely on it.
Maybe things have changed since then ???

I’ve recently been in discussions about wills and was wondering about storage. I’m assuming all copies have to be signed by witnesses to be valid (photocopies not valid?) regardless of where they are stored?

Also I was told that each page of the will has to be signed to indicate that all aspects of the will have been understood by the person making the will?

Certainly if the will is multipage, unless a folded single sheet, it is necessary to sign all pages to ensure one can’t be substituted, while it certainly doesn’t do any harm to sign all.

We are just remaking or changing our existing will. The. current will is held by us at home with a copy originally lodged with the solicitors practice. When our solicitor moved practice she asked if we wanted her to take the copy wills with her. Now we are changing things she is sending those copies back to us. This is to stop anyone ‘finding’ those copies in the future and contesting the new will.
It seems to me that when the new wills are prepared it will be simpler to keep a copy ourselves and lodge a copy with the court service. If any future changes are required, we will know where the only copies are.

Just from a cost perspective, there seems to be a wide variety of charges for wills. I know you can do your own online and charities will often offer to complete wills for a donation. I recently was quoted £250 for a basic will and £650 for an asset protected will (e.g. asset protection with tenants in common for property etc). I don’t have any complicated requirements but the asset protection does appeal. Are these typical costs, any views?

Thanks

My will is very straightforward. My solicitor charged £80 for it about 5 years ago, so those prices look a bit steep to me.

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They vary a lot. A friend discovered that “charity” wills often are very basic, I leave everything to my wife kind of statement. I chose my original solicitor from reputation and having worked with her in relation to my then job. I chose the present one based on a friends experience with managing a complicated will trust from her father in law when her husband was diagnosed with early onset alzheimer’s and unfit to act.
We paid £1008 for mirror wills, setting up a trust and completing letters of wishes. Hopefully we made the right decisions.

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Thanks for the info. I will check regularly to make sure my solicitor is still in business.

Alas my (both long departed) aunt and uncle in Germany were victims of a misunderstanding. My uncle created a hand written will and did not instruct a solicitor to create a formal will. When he passed away, his children contested the hand written document and instigated legal proceedings against my aunt, who was in her 80’s by that time. Not only was my aunt denied the intention of my uncle, but in many ways much worse, the family who she should have been relying on for support during the aftermath of her husband’s death deserted her. All very sad to see from a distance and a further lesson on the importance of getting these things right and avoid the self destruction that greed can inflict on families.

Peter

I’m in the US so it is probably a bit different. My mother passed in early 2019 and we discovered her law firm lost her will. This added at least a year to the process. In fact it won’t be finalized until later this month. The takeaway is you can’t trust lawyers.

My wife and I have a complicated bundle of assets and properties .
We sat down with our solicitor who has dealt with all our legal affairs for 25 plus years.
After several drafts our will was drawn up , duly signed and stamped copies given to our children . The original is kept in our solicitor’s document room along with various other papers .
It cost us £600 and gives us all total peace of mind.
Regards

my solicitor advised me to take out a power of attorney. it is expensive but i did it.
many people i know have it.