Replacement value of Will bank

Our Accounts team has asked me to provide a figure for the cost of replacement of our will bank for the contents insurance renewal. I am struggling to come up with a figure. I know firms which are closing down will often try and sell their will bank. However, what would the cost to the firm be if all of the wills were destroyed by fire and we then had to arrange execution of replacement wills, prove copy wills etc etc. Can anyone provide any insight into how their firms produce a figure for their insurers?

Samir Hussain

One of the issues that may need to be considered is if the testator has lost capacity and is no longer competent to make a new will, replacing that lost.

Even if the testator has capacity, there is also the possibility they might die before arrangements to execute a replacement can be completed.

This all presupposes that any replacement will is in the same terms as that lost. I suspect that any client would be advised to review their testamentary intentions rather than merely replacing the will with a like document.

I suggest a starting point would be the normal costs associated with taking will instructions, etc., with an uplift to allow for the costs of the statutory will procedure in a proportion of cases (do you have any idea of the proportion of testators in you will bank who might now either lack capacity or are without capacity?), plus an allowance for where the testator might die before any new will can be put in place, which would take into account the additional costs of proving a copy and, where a copy of the executed will cannot be proved, or even located, the potential for a claim from beneficiaries for the loss of their inheritance.

I suspect when looking at the insurance cover, insurers will look to the actual cost of restoring the wills, stripping out associated profit costs (if any!).

Paul Saunders