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Where Should I Keep My Estate Planning Documents?

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

Texas estate planning lawyerCreating estate planning documents in the first place is 90% of the battle. Once you have a trust, a will if you need one, a living will, and your powers of attorney all ready to go, choosing the right place to store them is critical. If no one is able to find your documents, then there is a real risk that the plan you worked so hard to create will never be followed. The right place to store your documents is somewhere that your loved ones will be able to easily locate them, but also somewhere that they will be safe.

It is often a good idea to keep multiple copies of certain documents. For other documents, it is by far best to have the original available when it is needed. Your attorney can give you more specific advice on where to keep your documents so that they will be accessible. 

Good Places to Keep Estate Planning Documents

Different types of documents should be stored or kept in different places. Some helpful tips for different estate planning documents include: 

  • Your will - In Texas, it is important for the original copy of your will to be admitted to probate. If your will was last seen in your possession but no one can find it, then the court may presume that you intentionally revoked it. A safe deposit box is a good place to store a will, as your family members will be permitted to look through this without getting a court order after you pass away. Just make sure that your relatives know that you have a safe deposit box and at which bank. 
  • Trust documents - If you also have a will, then putting your trust documents in the same place you keep your will is probably the best idea. However, if you do not also have a will, the most important thing is that your trust documents can be located. One good way to ensure this is to give the trust documents to your successor trustee. 
  • Living wills and DNR order - Each doctor who treats you and each hospital you may use should have copies on file. If you live in a care home, it should also have these documents. If you are very elderly or terminally ill and do not want to be resuscitated, copies of these documents should be posted everywhere - over your bed and favorite chair, on the refrigerator, and anywhere that first responders would see them. 
  • Powers of attorney - As with living wills, all your medical providers should have copies. The people you have chosen to be your power of attorney should also have copies so that they can produce them quickly if needed. 

Before you leave your lawyer’s office, make sure that you know where to place your estate planning documents for safekeeping. 

Speak With a Texas Estate Planning Attorney

Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law truly believes in the importance of estate planning for everyone. Our experienced Wilson County estate planning lawyers are committed to helping people create strong, enforceable estate planning documents. Call us at 210-535-0870 for a free consultation. 

 

Source:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/keep-your-advance-directive-safe-but-accessible

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