How to Store Your Estate Planning Documents
Once you’ve created your estate plan, it’s important to keep the original documents somewhere safe. Having digital backups is always a good idea, but the originals are important to have and should be located somewhere safe and accessible.
Here are a few ideas for some potential storage locations.
- Safe deposit box: While a safe deposit box is certainly a safe place to keep your estate planning documents, it’s not necessarily the smartest idea. It can be difficult for family members to gain access to your safe deposit box if you become disabled or pass away without going through a complicated court process. It’s also simply inconvenient.
- Attorney’s office: You can keep your estate planning documents at your attorney’s office. Most attorneys will at least keep signed copies of the paperwork, which can provide you with some insurance in case the originals get lost or destroyed.
- Personal representative: You can keep copies of your estate planning documents with your personal representative. While you shouldn’t give them the originals, allowing them to hold on to copies will at least give you some insurance.
- Your house: Place original documents in a fireproof and waterproof safe in your home. Give the combination to that safe to your chosen personal representative. Avoid the temptation to try to “hide” these documents in unexpected places, like under a floorboard or inside a mattress, where it might be impossible to find them if you pass away.
For more information about safely and responsibly storing your estate planning documents, contact a trusted lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.