Where Should You Store Your Estate Planning Documents?
You have put a lot of thought and care into creating estate planning documents that will protect your family and ensure your final wishes are fulfilled. However, if no one can find these documents upon your passing, they may not provide the protection you had thought they would. The court may even presume you destroyed the documents and so, deem them null and void. So, where should you store your estate planning documents? Below, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer outlines where these important papers should, and should not, go.
Do Not Hide Your Estate Planning Documents
Maybe you are concerned that one family member will find the estate planning documents and be unhappy with your intentions. Or, maybe you simply think hiding the documents is the best way to protect them and keep them safe. Regardless of why you may want to hide your estate planning documents, it is important that you do not. People need to be able to find the documents in the event that the documents are needed, and you want them to find them easily.
Do Not Use a Safety Deposit Box
You may think the safety deposit box at your local bank is the best place to keep your valuables, including your estate planning documents. However, this is not the best place to keep these important papers. First, if you pass away unexpectedly, your loved ones may not be able to access them as quickly as they need to, especially if they are not local to your area. Second, even if you do tell someone where your plan is stored, if they do not have legal access to the box, they will likely have to obtain a court order that allows them to do so. This is an additional step that could cause time delays and be costly.
You may also decide to place another name on the box, or include a provision in a revocable living trust that allows the trustee to access the box. In either case, doing so allows another person to access the box any time they see fit and not just because there is a need for the documents, which may not be preferable to you for many reasons.
Home is the Best Place for Estate Planning Documents
Although you may think it is one of the least secure places, your home is probably the best place to store your estate planning documents. When storing them, use a waterproof and fireproof safe that will store the documents securely. It is ideal to keep the safe or secure box in a high location to protect it from flooding during a severe Florida storm.
Our Estate Planning Lawyer in St. Petersburg Can Advise On All Aspects of Your Plan
When creating a plan for your future, there are many important elements and storage is just one of them. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyers can advise on all of them so you and your family are protected today, and tomorrow. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.