An estate plan enables you to make sure that your assets are distributed to the people and organizations in the manner you intend after you are gone. Once your estate plan is in place, there are a number of important documents that need to be kept in a safe place but also must be accessible after you die. These include your will, living trust, powers of attorney, and any living will or advance directives that you may have. It is essential that these documents stay safe and, in some circumstances, tucked away from prying eyes.
Where to Store Your Documents
When it comes to storing your documents, several choices make sense for ensuring they stay safe and secure until they are needed again.
• Safe Deposit Box: A safe deposit box can be a good place to store your documents, as long as you do some planning first. You will need to notify your personal representative that there is a safe deposit box containing these documents, where the box is located, and ensure that they are authorized to open the box. If there is no one with authority to access the safe deposit box, a court order will be needed, and this can be a lengthy process.
• In Your House: Estate plan documents can be stored in your home in a personal safe, a locked filing cabinet, or another safe location. As with the safe deposit box, you will need to make sure that someone knows where these documents are located within your home. They will also need the combination, password, or key to access them.
• With Your Attorney: Most attorneys who specialize in estate planning recognize the need for secure document storage for their clients. This allows you to safely keep a copy of your document in their office or other secure file storage location that they utilize. If you choose to use the services of your attorney for this, make sure you notify the appropriate parties of the contact information for the attorney.
Planning for the future can give you peace of mind by specifying how you want your wishes to be carried out after you die. To preserve that peace of mind, you need to store your estate planning documents in a safe place. In addition, make sure it is known where these documents are stored and how to access them.
Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at Deliberato Law Center