Where is the Safest Place to Keep Your Will?

Where is the Safest Place to Keep Your WillThe tough job of creating your Will is over, but now you want to know: where is the safest place to keep your Will? While you may have heard a few different recommendations, from having an attorney store it or taking it to the county clerk, your choice should be mindfully thought out. This is what our estate planning experts at Dana and Associates, LLC recommends to our clients. For more legal questions, check out our blog or reach out to one of our top Arizona estate planning attorneys today.

You Should Retain Your Original Documents

Contrary to what some recommend, we believe you are best served by retaining your original documents. In the spirit of our core value of empowerment, we encourage our clients to decide where to store their documents. We do not hold original documents for our clients, and we don’t recommend that you store your documents with an attorney. Unexpected incidents or the death or retirement of the attorney can leave you without the original copy when you need it.

Other common suggestions include storing it with your executor or filing it at your county clerk’s office. Again, the executor route can leave you without a plan in place if they pass away before you. Additionally, the county clerk’s office can make it quite difficult to make changes to your Will when needed.

Should You Store Your Will in a Safe Deposit Box?

Where is the Safest Place to Keep Your WillA safe deposit box is a popular choice by many because it is an easy way to stash your Will and other valuables away for extended periods of time. The benefit of security can actually be a disadvantage if you pass away. Unless you have named your executor a co-owner or granted them the right to open the safe deposit box, they will have a problem. The executor needs your Will to gain the authority from the probate court to access and handle your accounts. This means they can’t get in your box without that authority or being named an owner prior to your passing. One of the key things to consider when choosing where to store your Will is the ease of access when it is needed the most. If you overlook that detail, your family may end up facing unnecessary stress and an extension of the already lengthy probate process.

Options to Store Your Will at Home

Where is the Safest Place to Keep Your WillThe easiest and least expensive solution for where to safely store your Will is to keep it in your home. Your family safe or a locked filing cabinet would both make solid options that would provide you with easy access in case you need to make changes.

Keep in mind that in the event of a fire or flood, there is the risk that you may lose your Will. If you do choose to go this route, be sure to store the document in a container that is both waterproof and fireproof to avoid irreversible damage to your Will. There are many options today, from durable, fire-resistant envelopes to small safes that should do the trick.

Keeping a Digital Backup

Every Dana and Associates estate plan is delivered to our clients in a compact estate planning binder. It contains all of your documents and important information in one place. We instruct our clients to keep the binder in a safe place and let their personal representative, successor trustee, or loved ones know where it is.

However, all of our clients also receive a secure digital vault membership to ensure that their important documents are backed up. If anything happens to the original paper copies, the digital backup stored in the vault is incredibly helpful.

Find a Top Arizona Estate Planning Attorney Today

Answering the question “where is the safest place to keep your Will” is largely a matter of personal preference. What works for one person won’t always work for you, so we encourage you to do your research, ask your estate planning attorney, and make the decision based on your specific circumstances. But, the one detail you don’t want to overlook is making sure your executor knows where your Will is stored and can access it when needed.

To help you plan for the future, Dana and Associates, LLC offers full-service estate planning with unique legal plans tailored to your vision. Contact us today to learn more about how our team can support your estate planning needs.