To help you better understand the estate planning process, once a month I provide answers to a frequently asked estate planning question. People often ask:
"Where is the best place to keep my signed original estate planning documents?"
Once all the paperwork is signed it is a good idea to keep it in a safe deposit box protecting these important documents from theft, fire, accidental loss, etc.. There is sometimes a problem getting it opened after your death though so if you do decide to keep your estate planning documents in a safe deposit box, you might want to name a joint holder on the box; perhaps a a family member or your Personal Representative or trustee.
Another idea would be to keep your original estate planning documents at your attorney's office. Our firm holds your originals at no charge just remember to provide your new contact information.
A home safe is yet another option. However thieves entering a home will often take the whole safe thinking they'll find cash and jewelry. So, make sure the safe is bolted to the foundation of your house or cannot be somehow carried out. Some people keep original Wills and other estate planning documents in their freezer, using an air-tight plastic bag to protect them. Well insulated and heavy, freezers can often withstand fires, hurricanes and tornadoes and they are not often stolen.
Be sure to call me on any questions you may have on estate planning or check out our website for more information on the subject.