Making a Last Will and Testament is a significant step in our lives where we take charge of our assets and decide who they will pass on to when we die. As such, it’s an important legal document and needs to be kept safe – and yet easily accessed when it is needed. Here are some ideas for storing your Will from a leading estate planning attorney in New Jersey.
- With your executor: Your executor is someone who will oversee the execution of your Will – that is, they will make sure that your stated wishes are carried out. They are someone you trust and usually do not benefit from the Will itself. Sealed in an envelope with instructions that it is only to be opened after your death, your executor can keep it in their home safe or bank deposit box.
- In your home: While this seems like a sensible option, it does present certain challenges. It needs to be kept private, safe from theft, fire or flood, and access needs to be provided to your executor. It’s best to use a fire and waterproof safe attached to the structure of your home, and give the necessary information and access (code or key) to your executor.
- Safe deposit box: Again, a seemingly sensible idea but with some very strong drawbacks. This is because many banks will require a court order to open the safe deposit box even if your executor knows where it is and has authorized access to it. This may take a very long time and incur significant additional legal fees.
- Digital storage: This is a preferred choice for many people as it relieves them of the worry of safely storing a physical copy. Many courts, however, will not accept a digital or printed copy from the digital archives or vault, but will require the original.
- Your legal firm/lawyer: For a nominal fee, your estate planning attorney will store your Will in a secure location. This allows it to stay safe and removes the responsibility from your home or bank. It also allows you to update and change your Will or other estate planning documents more easily. Just be sure to inform your executor of where your Will is, and to move your Will with you if you change attorneys.
Create, store and update your Last Will and Testament the easy way in NJ
Frank R. Campisano is an experienced estate planning attorney with a long history of service and loyalty to his New Jersey clients. In addition to assisting you with creating, storing or updating your Last Will and Testament, he can assist you with developing trusts, healthcare proxies, Power of Attorney documentation and much more.
For a free consultation, please contact us today and speak to Frank R. Campisano or visit our website at https://www.scclegal.com/