Showing posts with label where to keep a will. Show all posts
Showing posts with label where to keep a will. Show all posts

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Where to Keep a Will

You've done the right thing and created a will so your family will know how you want your estate handled upon your death.  You've spent hours making sure every detail is covered.  Now, you need to decide where to keep your will so that the executor of your estate can find it easily after your death.  One thing is certain; you do not want to file a will in the same easily accessible drawer or box where you keep old tax returns and bank statements.  When experts at tell their clients how to store a will, they want to make certain you understand the advantages and disadvantages of all the various choices.

Where Should I Keep My Will?

Below is a list of places where you might want to keep your will, along with some things to consider before you make a final decision.  All of these choices have advantages.  Once you make a decision, you will want to be sure to let the executor of your state know where to find both your will and other important documents ... such as insurance policies, receipt for a burial plot, list of people you want contacted upon your death, etc. 

Where are some of the places where you can keep your will and other documents are:

Keep Your Will in a Safe Deposit Box at a Bank

A safe deposit box is the first choice for many people.  Your will will be safe from fires, floods, theft and similar catastrophes.  However, depending on the state where you live, your executor may need a court order to get the bank to open the safe deposit box so the executor can look for the will.  If you decide to keep your will in a safe deposit box, let your executor and beneficiaries know where your safe deposit box is located, and give the executor the legal authority to take possession of the will after your death.

Store Your Will with Your Attorney

If you have no plans to change your attorney, you may want to simply leave the original copy of your will at your attorney's office.  They will charge little or nothing to store it for you.  Once again, you need to make sure your executor and heirs know the name of your attorney and how to get in touch with him.

As for other documents you want your executor to have, such as your insurance policies and list of contacts, you can give them copies at the time you name them the executor.  This way, they will quickly be able to have access to all the information they need.

Keep Your Will in Your Home Safe

Another option is to store your will in a heavy, waterproof and fireproof safe in your home.  You want the safe to be heavy enough that you are unlikely to have thieves easily remove the entire safe from your home.  As mentioned before, you do not want to simply file the original will in a home filing cabinet or in a plastic bag in the freezer.  In either case it would be far too easy for it to be stolen or altered without your knowledge.  If you do keep your will in a home safe, be sure your executor knows where the safe is located, and how to get into it.

File a Will with the County Clerk

In some parts of the country, you can file your will with the local county clerk's office.  This is a good solution if you have no plans to move out of the area, and if you make sure everyone knows that they need to contact the county clerk's office when you are gone.

If you make this choice, you will want to be sure to give other documents directly to your executor when you decide who that person will be.  Another option is to put these items in safe storage at your home, and let your executor know where to find them.

Whatever decision you make about where to keep your will, you will want to be certain that both your executor and your heirs have been informed.  They will need the original will in order to efficiently handle the disposition of your estate.  The simpler you can keep things for them, the less confusion there will be after your death.

If you are interested in additional information about funeral planning, financial planning, medical issues that can arise in your later years, where to retire, travel and changing family relationships, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of helpful articles for retirees.

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