When a loved one passes away, locating the will may become a pastime that can distract mourners from their sadness. However, locating the last will and testament should not require an all-out effort to turn the house upside down. Placing your will in an easy-to-access location can save your descendants a lot of unnecessary confusion and stress. So that you can make a good decision about where to leave your important papers, read below.
Leaving the Will at Home
Many consider their home to be the best place for a will, trust, insurance papers, and more. However, it's best to leave your important papers somewhere that is safe from natural disasters like tornadoes, fire, and more. Fireboxes or safes that are properly rated for safety are the best places for your papers if you plan to keep them at home. The safe can be locked to prevent prying eyes and to keep the papers inside safe from weather and fire events. If you choose a home safe or box, be sure you tell at least one other person about it and provide them with the key or combination to access the contents.
Leaving the Will at the Bank
Many people feel that their important papers are safer at a bank. With a safe deposit box, your papers are safe from fire, theft, moisture, and more. The only setback might be that banks keep banking hours, which means they might be closed when your loved ones need to access the box. While that might not matter if it is only your will inside, it could create problems if your burial plans and last wishes are also in the box and it's a holiday weekend. It might be best if you leave your burial plans in your home rather than at the bank. If you do use a bank box, let someone know and add another person to the list at the bank. Leave the key where it can be found also.
Leaving a Copy at the Lawyer's Office
If your family cannot locate your final paperwork anywhere else, the law office that created the will may have a copy. Most probate or estate lawyers are happy to help your loved ones get a copy of the will. However, some states require the original signed version of the will instead of a copy for the probate filing.
In summary, leave your will in a safe place and let someone else know where it is. Also, consider leaving your plans with your chosen personal representative or executor or instructions on how to access them.
To find out more, speak to an estate planning lawyer.