There can be only one original will. It is not possible to have several “originals” signed and stashed in various locations. There are some good legal reasons for those rules which are beyond the scope of this writing.
In the “old days,” attorneys might keep original wills in office safes for their clients; however, our society is much more mobile today, both the clients and the attorneys, and seeking such wills decades after they are signed may on occasion prove to be difficult or impossible.
Keep you will in a safe location, such as a safety deposit box or other secure location, and let your relatives and nominated executors know where it is. I can recall countless situations where survivors just “know” there is a will, but are unable to locate the document after turning the house “upside down.” Also, there have been occasions where the survivors probably threw out the will while “cleaning up” after someone dies.
The problem with a missing original will is a rule of law which is commonly known as the “presumption of revocation.” One of the ways to revoke a will is to destroy it. Therefore, if a person had a will, but it cannot be found after the person dies, there is a “presumption of revocation” which causes all sorts of problems. That is not something which I can discuss further here, and I mention it only to emphasize that it is important to safeguard the original will.
Another place for safekeeping is in the vault of the Probate Court itself. A provision in the law allows an original will to be deposited with the court. The law reads:
§ 15-9-38. Filing of wills; confidentiality of files; public docket
(a) Any person who has made a will may file it in the office of the judge of the probate court of the county of his residence. The judge shall maintain a docket in which he shall register the will, the date on which it was deposited in his office, and the date of withdrawal of the will by the person making the same or some other person, as the case may be, if the same is withdrawn. The files shall be confidential, and no person other than the person depositing the same, his legal representative, or his attorney in fact shall have access to the file prior to the death of the person making and depositing the will. The docket maintained by the judge shall be public as are other dockets in his office.
(b) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed so as to prohibit any person from revoking such will by the execution of a subsequent will or so as to change the ambulatory nature of the will of any person.
You may access Georgia Law for free through the Georgia Legislative site. The link is: Official Code of Georgia..
At the time of this writing, the charge for filing a will for safekeeping with the Probate Court is only $15, a one time charge.