Now that you have prepared for the inevitable disposition of your assets by creating a will, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having a plan. The next question is where to keep your will. A fire-proof box at home works great to protect important documents in the event of fire, but it may not survive other disasters, such as tornadoes or floods.
Make at least one copy and keep them in separate places
Take heed and leave your original will and any other documents which are part of your comprehensive estate plan in a place where they can be found if something happens to you. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy elsewhere or give copies to a trusted friend or advisor. Some storage ideas we recommend to our clients include:
- At home in two places. For ease of access, put a copy in your filing cabinet at home and label the file “In Case of Emergency if Something Happens to _____.” Another good place to store documents at home is waterproof, fireproof safe. Keep your safe in the upstairs attic or on a high closet shelf in case it leaks due to damage.
- Safe Deposit Box. The key here is to make sure the appropriate people know you have a safe deposit box and the name of the bank. Texas law permits a spouse, parent, or adult child of a deceased person to look for the will in a safe deposit box without a court order.
- Give a copy to your executor. If you are comfortable with it, you can let your chosen executor read your will to make sure he or she understands everything in it. (If any clauses are confusing, now is the time to clear them up.) The executor can also use a copy of the will to secure a court order to get into the safe deposit box to look for your original
- File it with the Court. Texas law allows a person to file his or her Last Will and Testament with the clerk of court in the county where he or she resides for a small fee.
Of course, you could also rely on your estate planning attorney to keep your documents. You will need to instruct your family members to contact your attorney upon your death.
Take time now to tie up the loose ends
Making a will and thinking about where you want your property to go when you’re gone is the hard part. Now that you’ve checked those things off your list, make sure your plans can be carried out by your surviving heirs by leaving your documents in a safe place where they can find them.
Call for estate planning and probate assistance
An experienced Bryan-College Station, Texas estate planning attorney can provide the information and assistance you need to prepare a comprehensive estate plan today. Call Peterson Law Group at 979-703-7014 to make an appointment, or fill out our online contact form to request a meeting.