Tips for Safely Storing Your Estate Planning Documents
Once you’ve completed your estate plan, you must make sure you safely store away the hard copies of the documents you have so they can be protected and secure, yet still available when you need to access them. Below are some tips for ideal storage solutions:
- Attorney: Ask the attorney you worked with if he or she will be able to retain signed originals, and if so, for how long they hold on to those documents.
- Loved one: Speaking of giving backup copies to others, leaving a copy of the documents with a trusted loved one (ideally the person serving as your personal representative) could be a good idea. They’ll have these documents for their own reference, and will also be able to give them to you in case something happens to your originals.
- Home storage: When storing documents at home, keep them in a locked desk drawer or filing cabinet. You can also place the documents in a fireproof safe. Just make sure trusted love ones have the combination or keys to any storage areas in which you keep the documents.
- Safe deposit boxes: If you hold your estate planning documents in a safe deposit box, just be sure your family knows you have one and let them know who has copies of the documents. The person who is named in a copy of your will can get access to your safe deposit box after you die to secure the original will.
- Virtual storage: There are online storage services where you can scan your documents and upload them. You can then access those documents from anywhere with an internet connection for quick and easy reference. However, this is a new technique and most states still do not have laws that allow the probate of an electronic copy of your will, although that is the future.
For the guidance and advice you need when planning for the future, meet with a dedicated Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.