Getting your estate plan wrapped up with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney’s help is a significant accomplishment. With your lawyer’s assistance, you have memorialized all of your final wishes, named an executor for your estate and guardian for your children, and provided yourself and your loved ones with peace of mind for the future.
Now, suppose that you take your new will, trust, or other estate planning documents home with you and set them down, intending to file them away in a secure location. Yet you neglect to tell anyone where they are located. You suddenly pass, and now your estate planning documents are doing little good when they matter the most.
Where You Store Your Will, Trust, and Other Documents Matters
Where you choose to store your will, trust, or other important documents is just as important as getting them done in the first place. As the example above illustrates, if your loved ones cannot find your will, they cannot admit it into probate. If your will is not admitted, your beneficiaries are left to either try and prove your will’s contents some other way or proceed as if you had left no will at all.
To avoid this and ensure the people you intended to help with your diligent estate planning efforts do actually benefit from them, consider carefully where you store your documents:
File the Documents in Court
If you have a will, you may consider filing it with the clerk of your local court. If available, this can be a wise option if you do not intend to move or if you have significant property in the community. This saves you the trouble of having to store the will safely at your home someplace where your family and beneficiaries can find it.
With Your Attorney
Speak to your attorney about keeping your original will and other important estate planning documents on their premises. This places the burden on your lawyer for safekeeping your documents and making them available to your executor when you pass. If you choose this option, be certain your executor or family members know who your attorney is and vice versa, and that there has already been established a way for your executor to access your will.
In a Home Safe
If filing the will with the court ahead of time is not an option, or if you have other documents such as a trust or power of attorney, consider purchasing a home safe that is waterproof and fireproof for your home. Keep your documents in this safe in a folder or envelope that is clearly labeled. Be certain if you do this that your passcode to enter the same is written down and easily available
Entrust Your Estate Planning Needs in Florida to Centonzio Law
Centonzio Law is a full-service estate planning law firm in Florida. Our experienced team can help you craft an estate plan that protects you, your property, and your loved ones from the unforeseen and unexpected. And we will work with you to safeguard your documents so that they can be of use to you and your loved ones when you need them most. Contact Centonzio Law by phone at (727) 900-7290 or online and ask to set up a consultation with us to get started on your estate plan.