You’ve taken the care and thought into drafting your will and now it’s time to store it in a secure place. When it comes to important documents such as a last will and testament, you wouldn’t want to just leave it sitting out where it could get lost or damaged.
Making sure the executor of your will can easily access the original document when the time comes is important so the probate process can go as smoothly as possible for your loved ones. This article will list the top places to store your will after it is completed and give some general information on the process as well.
Top 5 Places to Store Your Will
#1: In Your Home
There’s no place like home and that goes for storing your will as well. Remember to keep the original in a weatherproof safe or cabinet because if the original is destroyed, your family will have to use a copy, which present additional challenges. This is the easiest option when it comes to location, cost, and convenience. It also makes it easy for your loved ones to find after your death. Always make sure to have another copy with your executor if you keep it at home just in case and let loved ones know where to find it in your home.
#2: With Your Estate Lawyer
This may be the most expensive way to store your will, but having your lawyer keep your will can make sure that it stays safe and in good hands. It is recommended to store a copy of your will in more than one place always, but having your lawyer keep the original can be a good option. Make sure your executor knows your lawyer’s information as well.
#3: Safe Deposit Box
If you feel your home may not be a safe enough space for your original, getting a safe deposit box to store your will and other important documents is a great way to save money as well. Safe deposit boxes are private,you choose who has access to it as they are listed on the contract. Make sure to check your state’s safe deposit box laws before you choose this option as they do change and you could lose your right to choose who opens it after you pass away.
#4: With Executor of Will
Presumably, your chosen Executor is responsible, so leaving the will with him or her is another good option. Since the executor will need to give the will to the probate court when you pass away, it is imperative they know to keep the will safe and it may be in your best interest to make a copy and have it at home just in case something happens to the executor. Many times an executor is a loved one or a friend and may not be well versed on probate requirements and procedures. It is good to inform them that they will have to submit the will to the probate court when you pass away.
#5: Online Document Storage
Online storage services are a new option that is available to store important documents, one of those being wills. These services are secure, private and keep your document extremely safe from any natural disasters, prying eyes or coffee spills. Unfortunately, probate courts in most states still require a paper original for the will, so make sure that you store the original in a safe space as well and you can use the online document storage as backup.
Terms to Know
Here are some terms it is important to know when it comes to estate planning and will writing:
Executor: The executor of a will is the person you name to carry out your wishes after you pass. They will enact all of your wishes of your will via the probate judge, as it will give them the power to pay outstanding debts with the money left from your estate, distribute your money and property to your family, etc. Choosing a reliable executor is very important.
Probate: Probate is the legal process for reviewing the assets of a deceased person and determining inheritors. These proceedings focus on tending to your final affairs and executing the wishes you have set forth in your will, or as set by statute if you do not have a will.
Plan for Your Future with Brackin Law Firm
At Brackin Law Firm, our experienced Estate Planning attorneys can assist you or your loved ones with planning for long-term care and ensuring medical needs are met should the time come when you or your family member can no longer care for oneself.
We will ensure that your future is laid out in writing. If you’re searching for a skilled attorney specializing in estate planning, living wills, and power of attorney, please contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.