Completing your estate plans is a lot of work, and you do not want your time and effort to go to waste. You need to make sure your will and other documents are in a safe place that is easy to find to ensure the honoring of your final wishes.
The keywords are “safe” and “easy to find.” Some people choose to hide estate plans, but this choice can backfire if no one is able to find them, or if you cannot remember where you put your plans. Instead, store your will properly to make probate easy on your family.
Safe places to store a will
If you decide to keep your documents at home, choose a location that protects them from harm. For example, flooding from weather or burst pipes will ruin anything close to the ground. A waterproof/fireproof safe is a secure option; just be sure someone trustworthy has access to it.
The attorney who helped you create your estate plans may be able to help you keep them safe. With immediate access to your plans, your legal representation can act quickly on your behalf in case you become incapacitated or pass on unexpectedly.
Another option is to store the will with your county’s probate court. A safety deposit box is not the best place if you are the sole owner, as it may require a court order to access upon your death.
How to handle copies
It can be wise to have more than one copy of your will in case something happens to the original. Clearly label copies as such with a notation of where the original is. You can also register it online for specified loved ones to find it. Remember that any time you update your will, you need to ensure all necessary parties have the new one and destroy the old versions to avoid confusion.