File Retention Wills etc

With increased duties under GDPR, I would be interested to hear from forum members regarding their approach to periods of file retention for Will, Probate and Trust files.

Any comments greatly appreciated.

My view is that a will file should be retained for at least 15 years 4 months from execution, or 6 years 4 months after death, whichever is the shorter (those periods being the possible limitation periods for any negligence claim plus service period) but ideally (from the beneficiaries’ perspective) for 13 years 4 months from death (being the 12 year limitation period under s.22 LA1980 running from (possibly) the end of the executors’ year, plus service period), or even longer!
See the recent case of Eade v Hogg for some judicial ire at a solicitor who managed to lose parts of his will file, and a restatement of the solicitor’s obligations to make and keep proper records.

Alexander Learmonth QC
New Square Chambers