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  • 09:00 - 17:00

    Monday to Friday

  • Unit 7, Olympic Park

    Warrington, Cheshire, WA2 0YL

Choosing the Right Storage Solution for Your Estate Planning Documents 

Choosing the Right Storage Solution for Your Estate Planning Documents 

Why risk the stress of lost documents and unnecessary headaches? Discover how a secure storage facility can be the ultimate solution for estate planners, offering a foolproof way to keep your important papers in order and readily accessible when you need them most. 

Your clients only ever have one legally valid copy of their Will, Trust, LPA, and any of their estate planning documents at any time. Scans, computer records, and photocopies, while convenient, fall short as they lack the authenticity and legal weight of a traditional signature. It is crucial to understand the unique nature of estate planning documents and the implications of not having the original versions stored securely. Understanding the unique nature of estate planning documents and the implications of not having the original versions stored securely is crucial.

In this blog post, we will address common misconceptions, highlight the potential consequences of inadequate storage practices, and explore the key considerations for choosing the right storage solution for your estate planning documents. 


The Unique Nature of Wills and Trusts in Estate Planning

Wills and Trusts are legally binding documents that carry the weight of your clients’ final wishes. Scans, photocopies, or digital versions do not meet the legal requirements, only the original document, complete with the wet signature, will hold up in court. This distinction is crucial, as it directly impacts how you store and manage these documents. 

Will and Trust Storage

Importance of the Wet Signature

The wet signatures on estate planning documents are more than a formality; they are a legal requirement that adds authenticity and validity to the documents. These traditional signatures, made in ink by the Trustee in the presence of witnesses, serves as tangible proof of the document’s authenticity.

Courts recognise the wet signature as a critical element in authenticating the document. While efficient in other contexts, electronic signatures may not meet the stringent legal requirements associated with estate planning. Emphasising the importance of the wet signature ensures clients understand the significance of the signing process. This recognition positions the wet signature as a fundamental and non-negotiable aspect of estate planning, reinforcing its role in establishing legally binding commitments. 

Real-Life Consequences of Inadequate Storage

The consequences of inadequate document storage are complex and potentially severe. Losing original documents due to inadequate storage can result in prolonged legal battles and disputes over the validity of the Will. Poor storage practices can contribute to delayed probate processes, disrupting the timely distribution of assets to beneficiaries. Misplacing critical documents poses an additional risk, potentially causing confusion regarding the Trustee’s final wishes and, in turn, triggering family disputes. Furthermore, inadequate storage heightens the vulnerability to fraudulent activities, creating opportunities for unauthorised forging of signatures or tampering with the document. The overall impact underscores the critical importance of proper document storage in safeguarding legal integrity and preserving the harmony of the estate planning process.

Secure Storage Options

We have discussed how estate planning documents are susceptible to physical threats such as fires, floods, or unforeseen disasters. These incidents can cause irreparable damage to paper records, making them unusable. Recognising the vulnerability of these documents to legal and physical challenges is vital for estate planners. Therefore, it is important to consider the available storage options carefully, allowing you to select the one that best suits your estate planning needs. Here are some common options based on factors such as convenience, security, and accessibility. 

Home Safes

Keeping a home safe has multiple benefits. It is a convenient way to access your valuables while providing protection against common risks such as theft, fire, and unauthorised access. To ensure maximum effectiveness, it is advisable to invest in a safe that is both fire-resistant and highly secure. It is essential to inform trusted individuals, such as family members, about the safe’s location. This will ensure that others can access the necessary documents within the safe in case of an emergency or your absence. 

The most significant drawbacks of you using a home safe to store clients’ estate planning documents are security risks and limited accessibility. Home safes may lack the tough security measures found in professional storage, making them vulnerable to theft or disasters like fire. Additionally, if you face unforeseen circumstances, clients may encounter difficulties accessing their documents in a timely manner. This potential delay could hinder critical decision-making processes, emphasising the importance of secure and easily accessible storage solutions.

Safe Deposit Boxes

Safe deposit boxes are a secure and convenient option for storing important documents off-site. They are kept in bank vaults and provide protection against theft, fire, and natural disasters. However, it is important to be aware that access to safe deposit boxes is limited to the operating hours of the bank. Therefore, it may not be ideal if you require frequent access to your documents. Additionally, safe deposit boxes have size limitations, so they may not be suitable for storing large or multiple documents. To ensure that you are prepared for emergencies, it is essential to provide trusted individuals with access instructions in case you are unable to access the box yourself. 

Digital Storage

Embracing technology is beneficial in many ways, including the convenience of accessing your documents from anywhere with an internet connection. Digital storage also allows for features like encryption and password protection, which enhance the security of your digital files. However, it is essential to be aware of potential vulnerabilities associated with digital storage, such as hacking and data breaches. Moreover, keep in mind that while digital copies are easily accessible, the probate court typically requires the original signed document in physical form. Therefore, if you choose digital storage, it is crucial to keep the original document in a secure physical location. 

External Companies’ Secure Storage Systems

Opting for external companies that specialise in secure document storage offers a tailored solution. These companies often provide dedicated facilities with advanced security measures and climate-controlled environments to safeguard your documents. When considering this option, thorough research is key. Choosing a reputable secure document storage company with a proven track record is vital.

How TrustDocs Can Help Keep Your Clients' Documents Safe

At TrustDocs, we have your back in safeguarding your clients’ important documents. Our mission is to provide you with a secure place for estate planning essentials. With innovative storage facilities and a commitment to preserving the authenticity of every document, we ensure that your clients’ wishes will remain protected. From shielding against the risk of loss or misplacement to offering a defence against potential fraud, TrustDocs is your ally in creating a seamless and worry-free estate planning journey.

We prioritise the accessibility and convenience of our secure storage facility for all our clients. One key aspect that sets us apart is our commitment to transparency and fairness in our services. Unlike many other storage facilities, we believe that accessing your important documents shouldn’t come with hidden fees or additional charges. That’s why we’re proud to offer a straightforward policy: there are no fees for taking documents out of our facility. Whether you need to retrieve a single document or access your entire archive, you can do so without any unexpected costs. With TrustDocs, you can trust that your documents are not only secure but also readily accessible whenever you need them, without financial barriers.


In conclusion, it is crucial to understand the real-life consequences of not storing documents properly and the legal importance of the wet signature. Poor storage can lead to issues like prolonged legal battles, delayed distribution of assets, and potential family disputes. This underscores the vital need for proper storage practices.

At TrustDocs, we get these challenges, and we are here to help. Our first-class storage facilities are designed to keep your clients’ documents safe, providing a secure spot for all their estate planning essentials. From protecting against loss or misplacement to guarding against potential fraud, TrustDocs is here to handle the safekeeping, freeing you up to guide your clients toward a secure and well-organised future. Explore TrustDocs today. Contact us at [email protected]


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