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Where Should You Store Your Will and Other Important Documents?

Posted on November 29th, 2022

Our Daly Mills Estate Planning attorneys in Lake Norman know our North Carolina clients have done everything right when it comes to protecting their futures. We have seen firsthand the relief our clients feel when they have an estate plan in place, and the confidence it gives them going forward.

The good news is, you have officially taken all the necessary steps to outline and protect your future. But what do you do with these important legal documents once they are in your possession?

While there are plenty of tales about loved ones finding these documents in a lock box buried in the backyard, or a freezer bag, covertly stored in an ice box, we do not recommend hiding your important documents. Here is why.

The Disadvantages of Hiding Your Will, Trust, or Other Important Estate Planning Documents

Establishing an estate plan, including a Will or Trust, is an intelligent step in protecting your future wishes. If no one can find it, even if they knew you had it, it may legally counter its existence.

While our Lake Norman estate planning attorneys will certainly advocate on your behalf — even if you are not here to employ us — there may be a considerable headache that ensues when your Will or Trust documents cannot be initially located.

Instead, consider these alternatives:

Safe deposit boxes can be a good place to keep important personal documents — like your will, trust, or life insurance policy — collectibles, and family heirlooms. The caveat to this storage solution is that you have a trusted family member, friend, or agent named on the safe deposit box with you as a joint owner, so they may access it if you become incapacitated or upon your death.

Otherwise, accessing the box will require court involvement.

Some banks may require your Power of Attorney to produce the original document for it to access your safe deposit box, so it is important that the only copy is not inside the box.

The second-best place for your will and other important documents is in a water and fire-proof box or safe in your home.

Like a safe deposit box, it is important for someone you know and trust — which is typically the Power of Attorney or executor of your will — to know where the documents are, and how to access the box or safe.

Another option is to provide your originals to your primary agent for safekeeping, so they are accessible to the person who will execute your wishes.

Contact Our Skilled Lake Norman Estate Planning Attorneys for Help

To learn more about how we can help you establish a will or trust, assign powers of attorney, or develop a strategy for a trusted loved one to gain access to your important documents in your stead, call us at (704) 286-8437 to schedule an initial consultation with our estate planning attorneys in Lake Norman, North Carolina today. Contact Our Mooresville estate planning lawyers for more legal help.