After signing your will, what should you do next?

After you have signed your will, the next things to think about are Will storage and Notifying executors of their appointment and the location of your will.

Storing your will

Our page on Will storage outlines a number of different ways that you can safely store your will. While there is no legal requirement for how it is stored, it must be somewhere that is safe where your executors will be able to find it. If your executors cannot find your will, they may have to proceed as if you died intestate (see Avoiding intestacy for more information on the effect this has).

It is also very important that you will is left unmarked and undamaged. Marks that cannot be explained, or damage that may have been intentional, can make your will invalid, and so finding a safe place to store it is very important.

And don’t forget the problems that can be caused by misplacing your will, both if you want to amend it or revoke it later, and for the difficulties if a lost will turns up after your estate has been administered (see Discovery of a lost will).

Notifying your executors and others

Once you have made your will, make sure that you notify your executors of their appointment as soon as possible. If you’re prudent (and have followed our advice – see Choosing an executor) you will have discussed the role with them fully before making your will. Afterwards you need to be certain that they are aware you went ahead with their appointment, and to tell them about the location of your will. Both of these things will help to simplify their task after your death, and cut down on their stress at a difficult time.

Some suggestions about what you may want to discuss with your executors are included in our page on Notifying executors of their appointment and the location of your will.

(If a term is in bold, that means it's in our Glossary.)