Once you have an estate plan that you are satisfied with, you need to preserve the documents. They should be stored in a place that protects them from harm and where they can be readily accessed after you pass away. We discuss some tips on how to do that.
Your estate plan is worth nothing if it is destroyed or if no one can find it after you pass away. In order for your directives to be followed, people have to be able to read what those directives are.
All too often, important estate planning documents are lost or accidentally destroyed.
Recently, LifeHealth Pro offered some suggestions regarding how to make sure your estate plan documents are safe in "5 Tips for keeping original paperwork of key estate planning documents."
The LifeHealth Pro tips include:
- Make sure the original documents are easy to find. This means that, at a minimum, someone else knows where you have them stored.
- Make copies. If for some reason the originals cannot be found, the copies will alert people that the originals exist so they can look for them. However, be sure to destroy the copies if you change your estate plan. Otherwise, this can lead to needless confusion.
- Use a safety deposit box to store the originals and make sure that the box can be easily accessed after you pass away. If you have a trusted personal representative/executor, you might want to consider putting that person's name on the safety deposit box.
- If you have a living will or health care surrogate, it is a good idea to indicate in that document that you have a will, and who the personal representative is, so he or she can be notified.
These tips are just the starting point. If you come in to discuss your own plans, we will have other recommendations for your unique circumstances.
Reference: LifeHealthPro (July 14, 2015) "5 Tips for keeping original paperwork of key estate planning documents."