Document Safe Custody
Document Safe Custody Solution
It has long been recognised that safely storing documents such as Wills and LPAs is a must. Storing a Will securely protects against deliberate destruction and accidental damage. If a Will is damaged or executors can’t find it after death then your clients’ wishes may not be followed. Our long standing Document Safe Custody service is ideal for storing important paper documents such as Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney or other important legal papers.
We have further enhanced the BTWC Document Safe Custody solution and it now includes the option of utilising the services provided by Once I've Gone (OIG) - specifically for BTWC Associates.
Your clients have the opportunity to not only look at what vital hard copy documents they need to keep safe for the future but also their digital assets and information as well.
We have partnered with OIG to enable you to offer a fully rounded storage solution to your clients for all their most important and most valued documents and information. The digital platform makes it easy for clients to record details of their important personal, legal and financial information that families will need. Clients can upload and store digital copies of documents, photos, videos and anything they would wish to share after their death. All this information is securely stored and made available to nominated trusted contacts after death.
Document Storage – Associate Benefits
Document storage is a great opportunity for any professional adviser to increase customer loyalty and maintain engagement at critical life stages. As the adviser assigned to a client storing their documents with BTWC Ltd, you will be informed when a client contacts us to revise their documents due to change in personal circumstances such as moving to a new house, divorce or receiving an inheritance for example.
Most importantly, advisers will be told when a client has died creating the opportunity to support the surviving family and beneficiaries with the Estate Administration and Probate process. Plus, potentially provide investment and or mortgage advice for the beneficiaries after Grant of Probate as been completed and also gives advisers an opportunity for additional income from the probate administration process itself but with no personal risk to them, plus other financial services opportunities to new clients.
Clients or advisers may choose to store their valuable legal documents themselves but there are a number of risks with this approach;
- Where does the adviser or client store the documents?
The original document signed by the client is the only legally binding version of the Will. Scans, photocopies and computer records are not legally valid because they don’t have the client’s original signature on them.
- Can the documents be easily located?
At the time of need, executors or attorneys need to be able to readily access and retrieve original documentation. If professional advisers storing Wills are away on holiday or cease trading, this could prove difficult. Equally, if clients store documents away where executors can’t find them, they could be deemed to die intestate.
- The original Will is the only Will and must be kept intact.
If there is a fire, flood or burglary there is a risk of loss of important documents. In addition, if the Will is damaged in any way then the courts or HMRC Probate registrar may declare the Will invalid. The client will then have died intestate (without a Will) and beneficiaries may not get what they thought they would.
How does the BTWC Safe Custody Solution work?
If a client chooses to securely store their documents with BTWC, the client should complete the Direct Debit mandate with the main instruction form and return this with the signed documents for storage. The direct debit will then be set up with standard fees applied. Additional documents can be stored with specific charges by mutual agreement if required. These documents are located in the Member Zone,
BTWC will then issue to the client a Safe Custody Certificate to the client and Executor ID cards to be distributed in order that the executors will know who to contact in the event of the client passing away.
*Top Tip: Executors should always be made aware of their roles and responsibilities and you may wish to meet with them to help to explain this. They may also need their own affairs putting in order.
We will then register the clients will with Certainty (The National Will Register) to ensure that the documents can always be found should the Safe Custody Certificates or Executor ID cards ever be lost.
The documents can be accessed by the client at any time free of charge. When executors need to retrieve the will, they simply need to provide BTWC Ltd with a death certificate and proof of ID.
How are your client’s documents stored within BTWC’s Safe Custody Service?
Your clients’ Will and any other documents such as Lasting Powers of Attorney are kept in a waterproof wallet, within secure storage boxes and within waterproof fire-resistant cabinets at a secure location. Whilst your clients documents are with BTWC Ltd they are fully insured against any loss or damage (we hold Professional Indemnity Insurance up to £2million per document) and if anything should happen to your clients documents for any unforeseen reason whilst in storage, they will be recreated and replaced for your client free of charge.
What if the client wishes to change their Will?
If the client wishes to make a minor amendment to their Will such as a change of address or change of beneficiary, we will complete this for the client ‘free of charge’. Your client’s annual subscription entitles them to make 1 free of charge change to their Will per payment year on a like for like basis. If they wish to make multiple changes throughout the year then a minimum admin fee of £30.00 + VAT may be chargeable for each additional change.
If they wish to make a significant change to their Will such as the inclusion of a Trust, we will let you know as their professional adviser to ensure this is completed in the most expedient manner and to enable you to keep in touch with your client. Remember, your client stays yours.
What are the benefits to me as an adviser?
- You can be assured that your clients documents are stored securely
- There are no set up fees for you as the adviser
- You don’t need to carry insurance to store the documents yourself
- You don’t need to set up standing orders or direct debits with the clients, we handle the payment process
- You will be the first point of contact should the client wish to make a specific change to their Will
- You will be told when a client has died creating the opportunity to support the surviving family and beneficiaries with the Estate Administration and Probate process which for which generous referral commission can be earned.
- You can earn an ongoing residual income every year for all client documents held in the BTWC document storage facility
Why don't BTWC offer a free document storage service?
We all know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Usually, when free storage services are promoted it is often provided in exchange for mandatory appointment of executorship. This can often mean that families incur high fees later on that the deceased is unlikely to have been aware of during their lifetime.
We also don’t promote ‘lifetime’ storage as there are some questions about who’s ‘lifetime’ is being referred to. Our annual fee structure and free annual re-write option reminds clients to not forget about their Will. It also reminds them to contact their adviser who originally took their instructions to keep it up to date should their circumstances change.
How do I sign my clients up to the BTWC Safe Custody Service?
When completing your next instruction, highlight the service to the client and complete the Direct Debit mandate – we’ll do the rest!
As the adviser is there an opportunity for ongoing recurring income?
The simple answer is yes! We’ve revised our fees to take into account the work that you put in to win the client in the first instance and to provide you with an ongoing revenue stream whilst you are active with BTWC.