Your original will needs to be stored somewhere. But where?

The most common places that people store their original will are:

  1. At home - in a safe or in a filing cabinet. We've even recommended that people store it in their freezer, as it is apparently the last place to burn in a fire.
  2. At the bank - in a safety deposit box. Just be cautious about this one as your executor will need to have a key and power of attorney, or a death certificate and a copy of the will to show the bank representative that they have authority to access the box, before they will open up the safety deposit box.
  3. With the executor - some people leave their original will with their executor so it is in the right place and in their safekeeping if it is needed.

After signing a will, we always file a wills notice with Vital Statistics that registers:

  • your full legal name
  • your date of birth
  • your place of birth
  • date the will was signed
  • where your original will is stored

A copy of your will is not sent to Vital Statistics. Your executor must do a wills search as part of the probate process, so we always file this wills notice to show that it is the last version of someone's will, which is a paid service through Vital Statistics and not accessible to the public.

Elizabeth Mah

Lawyer-Founder, Paperclip Law