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Does a Will have to be registered to be legal?

You do not have to register your own will, but it’s a very good idea.

There is absolutely nothing in the law that requires a will to be registered for it to be valid. You can simply write your will, do what you need to make it legal, and store it in a safe place for your loved ones to read later.

It’s very unpleasant to think about, but several family members may have a different view of your estate and how it can benefit the beneficiaries of your will. Especially if there are children involved, it is very important to speak clearly about your wishes.

If you wish to leave money to charities or specific organisations, then a will is the only way to make your wishes certain after you die. Another example of when a written will helps is in the case of someone who has been in more than one marriage or civil partnership. Wills can clarify how much, if any, of your estate should be distributed to any specific person, whether they are in your immediate family or not.

Finding a lost will can be difficult

Imagine the stress of a member of your family who can’t find your will. If the person searching doesn’t know your will’s location, they may feel they’re not honouring your wishes. This could be traumatic for that person. Finding a lost will before or after death can be difficult. Here are a few reasons you may want to remember when trying to decide if you should register your will.

Storage is hassle-free

With a rgeistered Will, even if you lose your will during a house move or it gets damaged by the kids’ sticky fingers, there is a copy in a permanent home online. Also, if you want to write a new will, you know exactly where to find the old will.

Easy to find

Your loved ones may not remember your will’s location exactly, or you could lose it. Registration makes sure they can find it easily and quickly. All they would need to do is carry out a search on the registration records, have some personal information ready, and your will would be shared.

No lost inheritance

If your loved ones are unable to find your will, there may be no way of knowing what your wishes are. Without a will, your estate would be divided according to the rules of intestacy, meaning that a precious gift you wanted to leave to a special friend may not be given in the event of your death.


Having your will officially registered means your loved ones will easily be able to find it when you’re no longer around. For your loved ones to access the will register, they need to provide a copy of your death certificate.

After someone dies, the family can apply to the probate service for a grant of probate. This begins the process of probate. If someone dies with a will they get a grant of probate. This means that the probate office are satisfied that the will appears valid. The chosen executors can then legally carry out the wishes of the will with establishments like banks, Land Registry and any other establishment that requires a grant of probate.

If someone dies without a will, the next of kin have to apply for something called Letter of Administration. Once approved, it’s used in the same way as a grant of probate but they have to follows the rules of intestacy when dividing up the estate.

There isn’t a rule that says you should register your will for it to be legal, it’s perfectly valid to keep it at home in a safe place. But it’s important to remember that it’s a bad idea to keep your will in a safety deposit box at a bank. This is because the bank can’t open the deposit box until your executor gets permission from the court to access it – but this can’t be granted without the will in the first place.

If you do decide to keep it at home, it’s a good idea to tell your executor where you have stored it. You may even want to consider writing the location down for them so they have a written record of where to find it in the event of your death. With us, there is also always a copy on your dashboard in case it gets lost.

3 things to consider for your will

By now, we hope we have convinced you to register your will. It’s relatively inexpensive, and the benefits far outweigh the costs. Let us show you 3 more things to consider for sorting out your will.

1. Will writing services make the process simple.

Professional writers and services can make the process of writing and registering wills very easy. Contact a service, tell them what you want, answer any questions for more information, and your will can be sorted out in a matter of minutes. Be weary, however, that these services are typically insufficient for anything other than small, simple estates.

2. If you have doubts or concerns, seek legal advice

If you think your will is overly complicated, or you have concerns about the process, then speak to solicitors. They can help you understand how to write wills that will take care of your estate, property, and loved ones.

3. Will registration records make the probate process easier

We mentioned probate already, but it’s worth one more little thought. A fast probate case resolves in around 9 months. Being unable to find the will of the deceased could drag the process out even more. Why pass the responsibility of managing your will on to your children or family?

Additional FAQs

What happens if a will is not registered?

Your will doesn’t have to be registered to be legal. However, registration ensures your will can be found in the National Will Register. This will make managing your estate easier after you have died. Probate can be delayed by lost wills, so it is wise to register your will.

Do I have to register my will with a solicitor?

No, you are not required to register your will with solicitors. However, solicitors can support you during the registration process to place your will in the National Will Register.

Is it necessary to register a will?

No, it is not necessary to register a will. It is still legally valid after your death, provided the conditions for a legally valid will have been met.

How much does it cost to register a will in the UK?

The cost to register a will with the National Will Register is currently £30. This does not include any costs associated with writing the will. Professional will writing services can charge hundreds of pounds.

Who should keep the original will in the UK?

You can keep the original will as long as you keep it in a safe location. You could store it in a safe at home or with solicitors. Wherever it is stored, your family should know the location so they can find it after you have died.

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