The perils of depositing your Will with a lay executor were highlighted in case of Tessa Amstell deceased reported November 2018; in 2009 the deceased made her Will gifting her bungalow to her nephew, making gifts to charities and appointing her niece as executor; When the deceased died in 2011 the niece couldn't find the Will.
The bungalow was left vacant until the local council asked heir hunters to get involved; they tracked down lots of relatives, took out a Grant and started dealing with the administration including selling assets and taking money until finally stopped by the Court; imagine the stress and the costs - reputedly £250,000.
Morals of the tale -
- For a modest fee have your Will done properly by your solicitor who should keep it safe and to your order (in the firm's safe!) for no extra charge.
- Appoint your Executors wisely - generally either the main residuary beneficiary if the estate is simple or your solicitors, if the administration requires legal expertise (which it frequently does and always does when Inheritance Tax is involved).