What’s the safest place you can think of for storing your Will?
In Michael Jackson’s case, they couldn’t find his Will for ages. As the siblings, parents, cousins, nephews and in-laws closed in, the Jackson’s family lawyer, L. Londell McMillan, kept them at bay while searching high and low for the document.
It was an exhaustive search and took some time. The family members squabbled endlessly, someone uncovered MJ’s oxygen tank and the whole music world mourned the King of Pop for months.
If only he’d stored it properly and remembered to let his Executors know where it was … it might have saved a lot of family-feuding. Might have … you know what they say: where there’s a Will, there’s a relative!
Eventually, the singer’s Last Will and Testament was found, and his estate was settled – which caused a second wave of brawling as he left out his siblings and his old father, Joe.
As a rule, if an original Will can’t be found after a loved one’s death, then the court presumes it’s because the deceased person destroyed it – or ‘revoked’ it – before they died. At that point, all of the intestate rules apply.
If you do manage to find it, though, you can start the proceedings to get the court to accept it as the legitimate Will … which can be costly and grueling.
All of that hassle – just because one little document wasn’t stored properly!
Will storage is a must.
If you’ve gone to the trouble of making a Will in the first place, then why scupper the whole thing by not putting it in a place where the right people can find it when you’re gone?
Storing it carefully in your home is not a good idea. Lord forbid it should happen, but house-fires, flooding and burglary are all well-known destroyers of Wills. Rather, look beyond the walls of your castle and find a reputable place to store your Will safely. And remember, it needs to be the original document. Copies of Wills are generally not accepted in court; it can take a lot of expensive legal work to confirm their legitimacy.
You don’t have to spend a fortune for peace of mind. Most Will writers offer the option for Will storage – with Wetherby Wills, safe storage comes with free, future Will changes, too.
Top Tip: tell your Executors where it is. If you don’t, who’s going to know?
Send them the details! Otherwise, your lack of planning now might spark the same kind of stormy chaos that stirred up Michael Jackson’s family in their most difficult days.