After going through the trouble of getting all your wishes down on paper, it's important to store your will in a place that is both accessible and safe. How can you ensure that your will doesn't end up in the wrong hands or lost?
Here are a few of the safest places to keep your will.
The person helping you maintain it
On average, people are encouraged to review their will for updates every 3-5 years. What better way to keep your will safe and convenient for updates than by keeping it with your attorney?
Your lawyer is someone you can trust to make sure the will is not tampered with or lost. He or she can also help you make changes to the will during your lifetime and use it to settle your estate afterward.
In some cases, however, you may need to pay a retaining fee to use this service.
Your safe spot
Most people have a spot in their home where they store all of their important documents, including social security information, passports, birth certificates, banking information and more. This is a perfectly acceptable place to also store your will. However, you should consider using a lockbox to secure these documents from intruders, water damage or fire.
You may then entrust your lawyer or family members with a key or code to access the documents.
A safe deposit box
Safe deposit boxes were invented to keep a person's assets - well, safe! However, safe deposit boxes are so safe that they can be difficult to access. The executor of the estate will need identification, a death certificate and a key to the box among other things to gain entry.
The involved paperwork, approval process and fees can complicate the process, however, families who don't live near each other may still prefer this method over searching around the testator's home.
Your lawyer can help lay out all of your options and explain which might be most appropriate to you given your unique circumstances.