and Probate Law Firm
Where to Keep Your Estate Planning Documents
Keeping your estate planning documents in a secure and accessible location is crucial to ensure that they can be easily found and utilized when needed. As an experienced Folsom estate planning lawyer, I regularly discuss with my clients the importance of safeguarding these documents. Here are some recommendations on where to keep your estate planning documents:
- Safe Deposit Box:
- Many people choose to store important documents, including their will, trust documents, and other estate planning paperwork, in a safe deposit box at a bank. This provides an added layer of security. However, keep in mind that accessing the box may be subject to certain restrictions, and your family members should be aware of its existence.
- Home Safe or Fireproof Box:
- Having a fireproof safe at home is a practical option. It allows you to keep your documents easily accessible while also providing protection from fire and water damage. Ensure that a trusted family member or the executor of your estate knows the combination or has access.
- Attorney’s Office:
- Your attorney who helped you create the estate plan may offer to keep copies of your documents in their office. This ensures that there’s a professional copy available, and it can be helpful for your loved ones to know where to find these documents in case of your incapacity or death. It is important to note that many attorneys do not hold on to these documents for liability purposes.
- Digital Storage:
- Consider creating digital copies of your estate planning documents and storing them securely on a password-protected external hard drive, a USB flash drive, or in a cloud-based service. Ensure that someone you trust knows how to access these digital files.
- Executor’s Possession:
- Provide a copy of your estate planning documents to the person you have appointed as the executor of your will or the trustee of your trust. They should know the location of the original documents and understand their responsibilities.
- Family Attorney or Financial Advisor:
- If you have a family attorney or financial advisor, you might consider giving them a copy of your estate planning documents for safekeeping. This can be especially helpful if they are involved in the implementation of your estate plan.
- State Registry:
- Some states offer safe deposit box registries or other services to help individuals record the location of their important documents. Check if your state provides such a service.
- Family Members:
- While it’s important to keep the original documents in a secure location, you may also provide copies to trusted family members. Ensure that they know where to find the originals when necessary.
- Letter of Instruction:
- Consider writing a letter of instruction that provides details on the location of your estate planning documents, the names of your attorney and financial advisor, and any other relevant information. Keep this letter with your documents or provide copies to key individuals.
Regardless of where you choose to store your estate planning documents, communication is key. Make sure that your family members, executor, and other relevant parties are aware of the location and have access to the information they need when the time comes. Review and update your documents periodically to ensure they reflect your current wishes and circumstances. If you are seeking the guidance of an experienced Folsom estate planning lawyer or have any other questions about where to keep your estate planning documents, contact Thapar Law at 916-579-0605 or send us a message.
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