A will is one of the most essential estate planning tools, as it allows you to dictate what you would like to happen with your assets after you pass away. If you haven’t already, ensuring you take the time to create a will to protect your assets and take care of your family can provide peace of mind for the future. However, after drafting your estate plan with a Washtenaw County wills attorney, you shouldn’t just pin it to your bulletin board and call it a day. Ensuring you store a will in a safe location is just as important as taking the time to create one.
Why Does It Matter Where You Store a Will?
As previously mentioned, a will is one of the most important documents you must create. Without a will, your estate is subjected to intestacy. This means the state will take over the distribution of your assets and allocate them according to the predetermined line of succession. Not only can this conflict with your wishes, but it takes the control over your estate out of your hands.
If you create a will and something happens to it, it is treated as if it doesn’t exist. This means taking the time to plan a will is essentially pointless if it is damaged, lost, or inaccessible. For example, if the original copy of your estate plan is destroyed in a fire, meaning your estate is unable to produce the document, the state will take over. This makes it all the more important to create and store the will in a secure location.
Where Should I Keep My Will?
Ensuring you explore the different locations to store your will is essential to guarantee the document’s safekeeping. Luckily, there are various options you can explore to choose the place that you feel the most comfortable with.
One of the most common options for many with a will is to store it in a fireproof lockbox in your home. This is an ideal option as it allows you to retain control over the document without the fear that leaving it in your home could result in the will being ruined by fire or flooding. However, it’s essential to inform someone trusted of the location of the lockbox and where you hide the key, as this guarantees that your will is accessible.
However, if you are not comfortable leaving the will in your home, there are different offsite locations where you can store the document. One of the best options is a bank lockbox, as this is a secure and private location. Similarly, many attorneys allow their clients to store copies of the original document in their office. Not only is this a great safe location, but it also means that your loved ones know where it is after you pass.
If you’re ready to start the estate planning process, ensuring you have the guidance of an attorney is crucial. While there are many websites that claim they can help you create a will in a matter of minutes, without the assistance of a lawyer, you risk creating a document that is invalid. At Collis, Griffor & Hendra, we understand that this process can be challenging, and we’re here to help. Reach out today to get your estate planning process started.