Safely storing your will document
By Sarah Hughes, Staff Writer.
If something were to happen to your will, or your executor does not know where to find the document, it is pointless having written one. You must decide how to safely look after your will, and then let the executor know where it is.
Places you shouldn’t keep your will
Never store the document in a bank safety deposit box– when you die, the bank cannot open the box until the executor gets permission to administer your affairs. This, however, cannot be granted without the will document.
Do not store the document in a random place around your house. This includes places like at the bottom of your kitchen drawer, under your bed or collecting dust on your bookshelf. Remember that any damage to the document might render it illegible, leaving the law in control of how your estate is distributed.
Places you may consider storing your will
If you plan on using the same attorney or law firm for the remainder of your life, it can be beneficial to have them keep the original copy of your will. Note that an attorney is obligated to keep your will in confidence and may charge little or no fee for this service.
If you choose to store your will in your own home, make sure it is in a fireproof and waterproof safe for obvious reasons. The last thing you want is a disaster ruining the original copy of the document. Storing it in a safe will help ensure it is protected in the event of a home invasion or break-in.
Depending on where you reside, you might want to check if the county clerk can store your will for you. This may be charged at a nominal fee.
Make sure you inform your executor of the whereabouts of your will
Once you have decided how and where to deposit your document for safekeeping, it’s essential to ensure your executors know of its whereabouts and how to access it. Don’t just tell them this information – make sure you write it down.
In the event that you decide to move cities or countries, considering relocating your will too. Not doing so can make things difficult for your executor and beneficiaries.