So you have chosen your words carefully, written your will in your best handwriting, chosen your witnesses for their good health and ability to give a coherent version of events and signed and dated your will. What next?
It goes without saying that there is no point in making a will if nobody knows you have done so. It is quite common for clients to tell their solicitors that they don't wish their spouse or their children to know they have made a will.
This may in part stem from the fact that even today, when all sorts of taboos have been broken, death is still a subject that a lot of people prefer not to discuss. I was recently told by a funeral director acquaintance that he had
received a complaint from a mother that her young daughter had looked down from the top of a bus and seen a coffin being carried into his premises. Contrast this with the seemingly acceptable images of sex and violence thrown at young people daily and the strength of this taboo becomes clear.
It seems pointless to make a will and then not disclose the fact. Imagine how you would feel if, after going to all the trouble of making a valid will, your estate was administered in intestacy.
If you do wish to keep the existence of the will secret during your lifetime at least make sure it can be found after your death.
It should be clearly marked as your will and stored in a prominent place. Perhaps you have a file where you keep your personal papers such as your passport and online banking passwords etc or you are in the habit of stuffing things in your bureau drawer. Think where your family would be likely to look for important papers after your death. Remember that your death may not come at a time or place where you expect it.