Your will is critical for your loved ones to locate after your passing. If you haven’t left clear directions for it to be found, however, your family may struggle to wrap up your estate and get through the probate process. Your will is vital for your family’s comfort and to ensure that your estate is handled according to your wishes. Learn more about your options to store your will.
In Your Home
Some people choose to store their will at home. If you decide to do this, it is best to store the document in a waterproof and fireproof container, such as a safe. If you choose a safe, you may consider having it installed to prevent the entire safe from being taken. Others may choose to store their will in a file cabinet or other place in their home, but it is recommended that your will is stored somewhere secure. Be sure to inform your family of the location, and entrust someone with the necessary combination or key to open a safe, should they need to.
Safe Deposit Box
Another common location to keep a will is in a safe deposit box. A safe deposit box can be a secure place for your will, but can be difficult for your family to open. If you choose to use a box, be sure to name a co-owner of the box, or grant the executor of your estate the right to open your safe deposit box to take possession of your will. Be sure to tell your executor and beneficiaries where the box is located and any necessary information to allow them to open it.
The County Clerk
Another place that your will may be stored is with the county clerk. You may be able to store the original copy of your will at the county clerk’s office for a small fee. If you move, however, it can be difficult for you to update your will or for your family to find the location. If you choose to store a copy with your local clerk’s office, be sure to inform your executor and family of the decision. You may also wish to relocate your will if you move out of the current county.
In your Attorney’s Care
If you intend to use the same estate planning attorney for the rest of your life, you may decide to file your will with them. This is a highly secure and easy option for most people. Many lawyers will hold a copy of your will for a small fee. If your attorney is the executor of your estate, this can be an especially simple solution. If you have another executor, you should inform them which lawyer has your will on file. Even if you choose to keep the original document elsewhere, you should ask your attorney to retain a signed copy, in case the original copy is destroyed.
At Taylor & Lihn, PLLC, our team can assist you with all your estate planning needs, including the creation and storage of your will. Our Phoenix estate planning attorneys can draw from more than 30 years of collected experience to solve your estate planning needs, no matter how complex they may be. Contact Taylor & Lihn, PLLC today by calling (602) 900-9860 to request a free consultation.