4 Places to Safely Store Your Will

Last will also referred to as a will or last testament, is a signed document that specifies, among other things, who will receive an individual's last possessions at the time of death. The things often bequeathed includes real estate, bank accounts, and personal belongings. Wills also often appoint guardians for minor children. When the person who made the will passes away, an executor is appointed. The executor's should ensure to carry out the terms mentioned in the will. But once you have made the will, you must find a safe place to store it. The executor will require the original. This will help to carry out the terms just the way it should. Not being able to find it in time can cause problem. This includes a lot of emotional and financial loss to the beneficiaries.

In this article, we have mentioned a few ways to store the original copy of your will so that your executor stays informed.

At Home

Should you wish to store your last testament at home, you should invest in a waterproof and fireproof safe. Such safes may be large, heavy, and built into the structure of the house. This also prevents thieves from taking the actual safe if there happens to be a break-in. No matter where you store your will, do not forget to inform your executor and beneficiaries about it. This will help them locate it when the time arrives.

Safe Deposit Box

A safe deposit box may be another safe option to store a will. However, do remember that different states have different rules. The opening of a safe deposit box upon the owner’s death can be different. For example, a bank will allow a safe deposit box to be opened to locate a will in Virginia. But some states need the executor or the beneficiaries to obtain a court order to do so. So if you decide to store your will in a safe deposit box, inform your executor and family about it. Take the time to grant your executor legal authority to take possession of your last will upon your death.

The County Clerk

In some counties, the county clerk can store the will of a person for a nominal charge. However, this might not be the best option. Your executor and beneficiaries may not consider court when looking for the original unless you have instructed them. Also, it becomes difficult if you move out of the county and the will stays back with the county clerk. You may travel back to make changes to your will. This may also create a fuss for the executor and beneficiaries while they try to locate it.


If associated with an attorney or law firm, you can ask the attorney to keep your last will with him or her.  However, do this only if certainly you will be retaining the same attorney or law firm for the rest of your life. An attorney must keep a client's will confidential and may charge a nominal or no fee to retain it. But to ensure to locate the will when the times arrives, do inform your family and the executor which attorney is in possession of your will, especially if you have not been in touch with the attorney for a long time. If for any reason you decide not to ask your attorney to keep the original copy of your will, he or she can still be asked to retain signed copies of the will, in case the original gets lost or destroyed. Signed copies can be allowed into the probate court if the original got lost or destroyed in a mishap with additional documentation and testimony. [1]


No matter where you store your will, you should keep your executor informed about the location. And if you think you might forget yourself, keep a note somewhere that will help you remember.



1. General Information: Facts About the Nevada Legislature, www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-136.html.