When it comes to paperwork you need to keep safe and secure, your estate planning documents are at the top of the list. So, where’s the best place to keep them?
While there is no single answer to this question, there are some things you’ll want to consider when choosing a storage location for these important papers. For instance:
- Where will your documents be protected from theft and from the threat of flooding, fire, and other natural disasters?
- Where’s the best place to keep your documents so that your executor, trustee, or other key people will be able to locate them?
- Where can you store your documents so that they’ll remain private?
Some people choose to store their estate planning documents at home, in a filing cabinet along with their tax returns, banking records, and other important documents. This location works well from the standpoint of privacy and accessibility, but it might not be the best choice for protecting your documents from fire, floods, or theft. A more secure home storage option might be a fireproof safe – as long as your executor or trustee knows how to open it.
Another popular option is to keep your will, trust, and other documents at the bank, in a safe deposit box. While this definitely provides privacy and protection from theft (and possibly natural disasters), there are some accessibility concerns that come along with this option. Did you know that if you’re the sole safe deposit box holder, your loved ones will likely need to get a court order to access the contents of the box in the event of your death or disability? This is why, it’s a good idea to name your spouse, executor, or trustee as a joint box holder – this will help to ensure that your loved ones can access your estate planning paperwork without unnecessary delay or expense.