Dealing with personal papers

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
12 replies 1.8K views
thinkingaloudthinkingaloud Forumite
6 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
I have an upcoming appointment with my solicitor to rejig my present Will.
Does anyone know if there’s a clause I can put in my Will to ensure that all my personal papers are to be destroyed? (Apart from financial stuff, of course, which my executors will need).
By “personal papers” I mean diaries and journals, old photographs, letters kept as keepsakes, etc, and drafts and manuscripts from my job as a freelance writer.
There’s nothing sinister in there, I just don’t like the thought of strangers picking them over. Neither do I want them ending up as “box of miscellaneous papers” at an auction following the house clearers doing their stuff, or chucked into a skip for passers-by to pick through.
I’m quite happy to bequeath an extra sum to a named person to cover time and trouble and expenses on the basis that they see to this for me – would that work?
(No close family, so no-one to rely on to sort the papers out for me. The friends and others who are my beneficiaries all live at a distance, as we’ve all moved around over the years, so no one person to rely on to sort this out, without the carrot of some extra cash).
When I drew up my present Will, I asked my solicitor if I could request in my Will that this stuff be destroyed by say a professional shredding company, but he said no, I could only request it in a letter of wishes. But I sort of want it to be a bit more definite.
To pre-empt anyone asking why it matters when I won’t be around to know about it, the answer is – it just does.
Thanks.
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Replies

  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
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    I have an upcoming appointment with my solicitor to rejig my present Will.
    Does anyone know if there’s a clause I can put in my Will to ensure that all my personal papers are to be destroyed? (Apart from financial stuff, of course, which my executors will need).
    By “personal papers” I mean diaries and journals, old photographs, letters kept as keepsakes, etc, and drafts and manuscripts from my job as a freelance writer.
    There’s nothing sinister in there, I just don’t like the thought of strangers picking them over. Neither do I want them ending up as “box of miscellaneous papers” at an auction following the house clearers doing their stuff, or chucked into a skip for passers-by to pick through.
    I’m quite happy to bequeath an extra sum to a named person to cover time and trouble and expenses on the basis that they see to this for me – would that work?
    (No close family, so no-one to rely on to sort the papers out for me. The friends and others who are my beneficiaries all live at a distance, as we’ve all moved around over the years, so no one person to rely on to sort this out, without the carrot of some extra cash).
    When I drew up my present Will, I asked my solicitor if I could request in my Will that this stuff be destroyed by say a professional shredding company, but he said no, I could only request it in a letter of wishes. But I sort of want it to be a bit more definite.
    To pre-empt anyone asking why it matters when I won’t be around to know about it, the answer is – it just does.
    Thanks.
    Did he say why? I can see no reason th executor can't ask a professional company to dispose of the things escurely.
  • No, he just kind of said, "that sort of thing's better in a letter of wishes". I did wonder if he was just trying to keep the Will simple so he as executor wouldn't have so much to sort out - I suppose a request in a letter of wishes can easily be side-stepped/ignored if it means more work. He was also quite dismissive of putting anything more detailed into the Will itself about cremation arrangements, etc, saying that too should go in the letter of wishes. Thanks Yorkshireman, your comment does back up what I already thought. I'll be more forceful when I see the solicitor next week.
  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
    5.5K Posts
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    No, he just kind of said, "that sort of thing's better in a letter of wishes". I did wonder if he was just trying to keep the Will simple so he as executor wouldn't have so much to sort out - I suppose a request in a letter of wishes can easily be side-stepped/ignored if it means more work. He was also quite dismissive of putting anything more detailed into the Will itself about cremation arrangements, etc, saying that too should go in the letter of wishes. Thanks Yorkshireman, your comment does back up what I already thought. I'll be more forceful when I see the solicitor next week.
    Your solicitor is being pedantic. Put it in the will. All the executor then has to do is pay a security company to collect the items and pay for the service.
  • gettingtheresometimegettingtheresometime Forumite
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    Didn’t Terry Pratchet request something similar with an unfinished book?
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card / JD Williams cleared :) thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge
  • Is there a reason you can't destroy them now before your death?
  • Margot123Margot123 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    I asked for an unusual 'thing' to be put into my will. The solicitor who drew it up said he wished more people would think like I did, as it 'saves arguments when you've popped your clogs' (his words LOL).

    Apparently you can have anything in it, unless it's illegal or perhaps immoral.
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    Keep it all in a suitcase and do a big bit of paper on the top of the pile enclosed saying "Please destroy all this lot when I die, it's boring and personal and I want it destroyed so that [include the list you wrote above]"
  • Margot123Margot123 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Keep it all in a suitcase and do a big bit of paper on the top of the pile enclosed saying "Please destroy all this lot when I die, it's boring and personal and I want it destroyed so that [include the list you wrote above]"

    That's known as 'reverse psychology'; it would make people even more interested in the contents!
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    I have included instructions about my funeral in my will. Solicitor said this was commonplace. A friend has appointed me literary executor, which I assume means I get to deal with personal papers as well as material more directly related to publications (whether actual or planned).
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