What should I do once I have finished my will?
Posted on 18 May 2012
At the end of the will writing process, after you make a secure payment via debit/credit card or PayPal, your will document is emailed to the email address you provided at the start of the will writing process. Along with the document, you will find comprehensive instructions for signing, witnessing and storing your will.
The first thing to do is to look through the will and ensure that it represents your wishes, that all names and addresses are correctly filled in and that any amounts entered are correct. If you have not already informed those who you wish to act as executors or guardians, you could take this opportunity to do so (although we would recommend asking them before writing the will as both roles entail a great deal of responsibility).
The next step is to staple the will together and sign it in the presence of two witnesses. This is the step that makes your new will legal. The witnesses must not be beneficiaries of the will or legal partners of your beneficiaries. It is also important to chose witnesses who could testify in court that they saw you sign the document, in the case that the will is challenged after your death.
Once the document is signed and witnessed it is a legal last will and testament. But this means nothing if nobody can find it! Many banks and solicitors offer storage services. But wherever you store your will, the most important thing is to let your loved ones know where it is, otherwise it is useless. One option is The Principal Registry of the Family Division (PRFD), which is free and popular. Do not store your will in a safety deposit box as Probate can’t be granted without the original will and the box can’t be opened until Probate is granted!
If you make any changes to the will once it has been signed and witnessed, you will need to sign the changes and have that signature witnessed. There is more information about this in the instruction document that we send out with the will. In many circumstances it is easier to simply make a new will.