estate planning documents in filing cabinet

Where Should You Keep Your Estate Planning Documents

By Chris Tymchuck
Founding Attorney

So, you have put an estate plan in place. Good for you! You have taken a critical step into protecting a future you want for yourself and your family. A strong estate plan is filled with legal tools meant to protect your wishes and promote the goals you have for yourself and your loved ones. Have you considered, however, where to keep your original estate planning documents? A seemingly simple question, but it is an important one. Your estate planning documents after all need to be locatable and intact in order for you to present them and access them when needed.

Where Should You Keep Your Estate Planning Documents

First, check with your estate planning attorney. Sometimes, your estate planning attorney will store your estate planning documents. This is not always the case, however, and should not be assumed. Furthermore, you may want to take the estate planning documents into your possession for a number of other reasons. Ease of access may be something you want to consider.

Some may think that a safe deposit box would be an ideal spot to hold estate planning documents. This, however, can be complicated and a bad idea for a number of reasons. First of all, when your estate planning documents need to be accessed, it will likely need to be by someone other than you. If this person does not have authorization and a key to access your safe deposit box, your estate planning documents will sit there. Probate may commence without anyone being able to access your will. Burial arrangements may need to be made without your wishes being read. The delay can be frustrating and render so much of your planning useless.

The best place for your estate planning documents may be at your own home. Consider the location carefully. It is likely a wise decision to keep them in a fireproof and waterproof box, just to be safe. Water damage can arise unexpectedly due to things like a leaky roof or a burst pipe. Make sure that the documents are safe from any elemental damage. Additionally, make sure they are secure, but easy to locate. You should talk to a trusted individual, perhaps the person you have named as your personal representative about where you are keeping your documents. You should also consider telling another trusted individual, just in case.

Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning involves many intricacies and decisions you may not have considered when you first started your estate planning journey. That is why Unique Estate Law is here to act as your guide and trusted counselor. For assistance in asking the right questions and getting the answers you need, we are here to help in any way we can. Put a strong, comprehensive estate plan in place that meets your unique needs. You can trust us to help you with that. Contact us today.

About the Author
As a Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate attorney I help build and protect families through the adoption, estate planning, and probate processes. I also have experience working with families on issues related to their small businesses. I know how difficult it is to find time to plan for the future and I am here to help walk you through it.