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How should you store your estate planning documents?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Estate Planning |

After drafting your will, living will, power of attorney, advance directive, guardianship designation and/or trusts, where can you keep them? 

How you store your estate planning documents matters. You want to keep them in a safe place.

Here are four locations to consider:

At home

You can keep your estate planning documents at home in a fireproof and waterproof safe. If you don’t have a safe, you can keep them in a locked filing cabinet. Keeping your documents at home is one of the most accessible options.

Your attorney’s office

If your attorney agrees, you can leave your estate planning documents with them. This option may be most suitable if you know you will maintain a long-term relationship with the attorney.

In a safe deposit box

Although not widely encouraged, you can store your estate planning documents in a safe deposit box. This is a secure option, but it may pose problems when probate time comes, as your bank will seal the box after learning about your death. Only a surviving joint owner or a deputy can access the box. That’s why you need to name your executor as any of these parties to allow them to access the contents of the box. 

You should also ensure your executor is informed of the process required to access the safe deposit box to prepare them. They should know they may need to involve the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

Digital storage 

With the advancement of technology, you have different digital options to store your estate planning documents. You can use a cloud-based platform or a USB flash drive/external hard drive, which you will safely store.

Take time to choose a safe and reliable location for your estate planning documents. Legal guidance can help you make an informed decision.