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How to Store Estate Planning Documents

Butler Law May 1, 2020

Most Myrtle Beach area residents understand the importance of estate planning. Estate planning encompasses many different aspects of a person’s life, including their assets, their children, and their health care wishes. When an estate plan has been completed many may wonder where these documents should be stored.

Those who have completed their estate plan may have many important documents like a will, health care directives, a trust, etc. They are told to store these items in a safe and secure location. Some may think that a safe deposit box is a good place to store documents but if a person dies or becomes incapacitated, a court order is the only way for a family to have the box opened up. Or a family may not even know the safe deposit box exists. A revocable living trust can give a person immediate access to a safe deposit box or adding a joint owner to the box can also be a good idea.

Storing estate planning documents in a readily accessible location often makes the most sense. Usually a home office or other logical place in a home can be good except that it is important that it is protected from fire and water if at all possible. At a minimum, these documents should be kept up high in case of flooding. An estate planning attorney can also keep these documents for their client.

Estate planning documents should not be hidden, and family members need to know they exist and where they are. These documents are critical when a person becomes incapacitated or passes away and having them available immediately can be a relief for a family during a stressful time.