Is a copy of a Will legally valid?
A copy of a Will has absolutely no legal force whatsoever. Only the wet-signed, properly attested Will will ever be accepted as legal. This has always been the case, and there is no valid argument to change this in the future. However, we are asked “Is a copy of a Will legally valid?” quite often.
All the rules surrounding Wills are there to protect the testator. This is why only the original Will has any validity.
This is why we suggest you think carefully about where to store your completed Will. There are a number of options available to you;
- Store it at home, or with the Executor
- Please don’t do this. What happens if there is a fire at your house for example?
- Bank Safety Deposit Box
- How will this be retrieved after your death? The bank would usually require a copy of your Will in order to allow your Executor access to the Will. See the issue?
- Probate Service
- You can lodge your Will with the local office of the Probate Service. There are full instructions here.
- Store your Will with the Will Writing Service
- As long as they use off-site storage, this is a good idea. Ensure that you are given a storage receipt. There will usually be a charge for this service, but you are benefitting from an insured, off-site service.