“A will drafted by the late Steven Cooper on his computer in March 2018, which he allegedly printed out and executed in the presence of witnesses, has been accepted for probate by the England and Wales High Court even though neither the executed version nor any physical copies of it can be found. The will left Cooper’s estate to his new partner, leaving no provision for his ex-wife and two estranged teenage children (Cooper v Chapman, 2022 EWHC 1000)” (STEP Industry Update).
The above example shows the importance of storing your original will in proper safe custody. It is also important to tell your executor and family where the original is kept. We provide free safe custody for all of our clients in an attempt to stop this issue from re-occurring. This decision firstly makes me wonder, how much time and cost were wasted in the action, and secondly if the action could have been avoided altogether if the government had the fortitude to implement a ‘digital will’ regime together with national will register as a condition precedent for the will’s validity.