Where Should I Keep My Estate Planning Documents?
If you have executed estate planning documents, such as a will, health care proxy, power of attorney, and possibly a trust, congratulations, you are already ahead of most people! As a final step, you need to make sure that these documents can be located when they are needed. Consider these tips for storing your estate planning documents in a safe place:
1. Don't put your estate planning documents in a safe deposit box unless you have authorized your loved ones to access the account and added them on as a signer. Without specifically adding a trusted friend or loved one as an authorized person to access the safety box, you will need a court order to open the safe deposit box and may have to pay a fee to have it drilled open.
2. Keep the documents in a safe place in your home and let your trusted family member or friend know where they are. A file cabinet or specific drawer in your home works well, as long as someone knows where to find them. A fire proof box, is often recommended, as long as you don't lose the key or passcode.
3. Consider leaving the originals with your attorney. In our office, we always offer to keep the original documents, providing our clients with paper and digital copies. Since we have three attorneys in our office and our youngest attorney is in her 30's, we plan to be around for many years. However, if your attorney is older or a solo practitioner, you may want to consider taking the original documents with you or asking what will happen to your originals if something happens to the attorney or the office closes.
4. Make sure you have digital copies. If you have digital copies of your executed documents, you should consider sharing them with a trusted loved one or friend. In most situations a copy should be sufficient if the original cannot be located.
Senior Solutions, Attorneys at Law, is an Estate Planning and Elder Law firm, serving the Greater Boston, Massachusetts area, since 2001. We are ready to help you with Medicaid Planning, Estate Planning, Probate, Guardianship & Conservatorships, Special Needs Trusts, and Fiduciary Services. We are here to help. Please call our office at 617-489-5900 or schedule a brief free consultation or by clicking: https://seniorsolutions.as.me/FreeConsult