Why Safe Storage of Your Will is an Absolute Must

To protect your final wishes when you pass, and to prevent unnecessary stress for your chosen executor, storing your will safely – and somewhere it can be easily found – is vital.

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When the will ‘disappears’

It’s more common than most people think! Take this hypothetical scenario as an example:

John and Marie’s circumstances had recently changed. John had just retired and Marie was dropping part-time work.

When their children were born, John and Marie created their first will with a local solicitor and had him retain the original copy for safe keeping. Their solicitor was a one-man business based in the next suburb over from their first family home. John and Marie had always loved the idea of city living. So, after their last daughter left home, they moved into an apartment in the inner city, keeping ownership of their family home, and renting it out to a younger family. At this point, they were prompted to again update their will, returning to the same solicitor.

Now, more than 15 years on, they expected to be able to contact their original will writer with ease. John had kept a business card with the copies of his will in a file at home. However, when trying to make contact, he found that the phone was disconnected. Marie, being quite online savvy, conducted a series of searches and could not find any trace of the solicitor they had consulted with in the past. As they had moved out of the area more than a decade prior, it took more than a fortnight of research and questioning friends and old neighbours to discover why they couldn’t get in touch.

The solicitor they had seen had unfortunately closed business under unknown circumstances. No contact was made with John and Marie and as a result, they could only assume that their will was lost or had been disposed of.

Why you should store your will in the Victorian Will Bank

John and Marie knew they were doing the right thing – which they were: creating a legally binding document to outline their final wishes. But because of not knowing the importance of storing their wills in a secure place, they had to rewrite their wills from scratch. And the outcome could have been worse if one or both of them had passed away before realising the situation.

To protect your final wishes when you pass, and to prevent unnecessary stress for your executor, storing your will safely – and somewhere it can be easily found – is vital.

The Victorian Will Bank is a service offered by State Trustees as a safe place to store your will as well as other important papers such as enduring power of attorney documents. Be rest assured that we can take care of the original copy of your will. Our storage facility is built to the Victorian Government’s recordkeeping and fireproofing standards.

Why store your will in the Victorian Will Bank?

  • secure storage is free for all Victorians
  • depositing and retrieving your will or other documents is simple
  • it provides safe storage, protecting your documents from theft and fire, water and other damage
  • retrieving your documents from our safe keeping means that when they are required to be implemented, there will be no issues relating to their condition
  • only you (or someone nominated by you) can access your documents and after your passing, only your executor can access them
  • you can store other documents such as power of attorney documents in the Will Bank
  • the Will Bank provides peace of mind for over 80,000 Victorians
  • State Trustees is owned by the Victorian Government so there is no risk of your important documents going missing.

How to deposit and retrieve your will from the Will Bank

It is simple for us to care for your important documents, and just as simple for you to deposit and retrieve your will from the Will Bank.

Firstly, we recommend you create a certified copy of your original will and keep it and the original in a safe place, until you receive your welcome letter from State Trustees. You’ll then deposit the original copy of your will via post or in person.

Learn more about the process of depositing your will in the Will Bank and why we store the original version, not a copy.

Retrieving any documents from the Will Bank is simple. All you need to do is call us on (03) 9667 6444 to arrange retrieval, allowing three business days for retrieval.

Learn more about this free Victorian Will Bank and read our FAQ’s here.