How to store a will with HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS)

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has updated its guide for testators who want to store their will or codicil with HMCTS.

Store Will HMCTS

Where should you store a will?

It is important to ensure that when you die the personal representative(s) (the person(s) dealing with the estate) will be able to access your will before probate is granted. Banks may not release a will stored in a safety deposit box before probate is granted, for example, and so this option is not recommended.

But where can you store it? Some of the best options include:

  • keeping your will securely at home
  • storing your will with a solicitor
  • keeping your will with a will writer
  • registering your will
  • storing your will with HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS)

How do you store a will with HMCTS?

For a one-off fee of £20, in England and Wales you can store your will with HMCTS, the branch of the court service which deals with probate applications. The will, and any codicils you supply, will be kept securely and you, or your dependents after your death, can withdraw it at any time.

There is no fee for retrieving a will. If you need to store both a will and its codicil, make sure you include them together in one envelope. That way you won’t be charged separately for each item.

You can store your will with HMCTS by either:

  • posting it
  • taking it to a probate office (registry)

Sending the will by post

Before you send your will and/or codicil to be stored, make a copy to keep for yourself.

  1. download and print label PA7ENV
  2. fill in all details on the PA7ENV label
  3. put the will in an envelope, along with a cheque or postal order for £20 made payable to ‘HM Courts & Tribunals Service’ - unless you’ve applied for help with fees
  4. get a witness to sign the PA7ENV label
  5. attach the label to the envelope containing the will
  6. put the envelope containing the will in a larger envelope

Send the larger envelope with everything inside it by recorded delivery to:

Newcastle District Probate Registry, 2nd Floor, Kings Court, Earl Grey Way, North Shields, NE29 6AR.

Taking the will to a probate registry

You can deposit your will by taking it to a probate registry or have someone do it on your behalf, for example, a relative or solicitor. If someone else is visiting on your behalf, you must provide them with a letter signed by you giving them authority to act on your behalf.

Before you or someone else visits you should make a copy of the will or codicil.

You must make an appointment with the probate registry you intend to visit.

Check this table to find the registry closest to you and email to make an appointment.

Local probate registry


Brighton District Probate Registry

William Street, Brighton, BN2 0RF

Cardiff Probate Registry of Wales

3rd Floor, Cardiff Magistrates Court. Fitzalan Place, Cardiff, CF24 0RZ

Liverpool Probate Registry

Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts, Derby Square, Liverpool, L2 1XA

Leeds District Probate Registry

York House, 31 York Place, Leeds, LS1 2BA

Oxford Probate Registry

Combined Court Building, St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1LY

Newcastle District Probate Registry

2nd Floor, Kings Court, Earl Grey Way, North Shields, NE29 6AR

Winchester District Probate Registry

1st Floor, Southside Offices, The Law Courts, Winchester, SO23 9EL

All registries are open on Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 4 pm.

When you or someone else on your behalf visits, you will be asked to seal the will in the envelope, witnessed by a probate officer. The officer will also sign the envelope before it is taken away for safekeeping.

Get help with storing a will or codicil

Telephone: 0300 303 0648

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8am to 6pm

Tuesday and Thursday, 8am to 8pm

Saturday, 8am to 2pm

Closed on Sunday and bank holidays

See also

Where should I store my will?

How to write a will

The duties of an executor: what to do when someone dies

Should I write a new will or make a codicil?

Find out more

Store a will with HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) (GOV.UK)

How to withdraw a will stored with HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) (GOV.UK)

PA7ENV: Envelope label for storing your will or codicil (GOV.UK)

Get help paying court and tribunal fees (GOV.UK)

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 3 March 2022

Any opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and the author alone, and does not necessarily represent that of The Gazette.