Discovering the location of your Will should be as quick and easy as possible, so do consider your choice here very carefully. You should let your Executor know where your Will is located. The Australian Will Kit explains how you can store your Will with no fees or charges.
Will registration is quite often confused with Will storage. Will registration is not Will storage.
Many people think that the process of Registering a Will is a way to make a Will valid or official. In fact, registration of a Will usually involves registering the location of a Will. In other words, having an official record of where your Will is located or stored. It is common sense to let your executor know where your Will is located. The Executor will be the person who acts on your instructions in the Will. If you have adult children or siblings that are responsible and amiable, you may want to let them know the whereabouts of your Will also.
There is no single federal government Will registry. This can make it very difficult and confusing for everyone, especially when it comes time to locate the Will.
The Australian Will Kit provides good information on how to store your Will for free.
There are several private Will registers/registries in Australia. Some are free and others charge for the service. Remember, there is very little in this world for free, so be sure to check any fine print before embarking on Will registration.
Before you register, you may need to decide where you will be storing your Will. Some registries will store your Will for you. For example, the storage and registration of your Will may be free, but after you die, a search fee may be charged to the Executor of the Will, which may be on charged to your estate.
You will need to decide whether to tell the Will registry the whereabouts of your Will or alternatively, you may be offered to store the Will at the registry. A fee may be charged now, and or in the future.
Whoever you appoint as Executor in your Will, will need to know about the Will registry so they can locate the Will. This can be fine for all involved, but do consider the Executor may then incur a cost to have your information disclosed. The Executor may also be required to lodge proof of his/her identification, with the Will registry. This will cost money, time to prepare, delays in the mail to the registry, delays on the return from the registry and so on.
If the Will registry moves, closes or disappears, you may never be able to locate the Will. Knowing a Will exists and not being able to locate it causes many problems for everyone involved. Be sure to consider your options very carefully.
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