Five Ways to Store Your Estate Documents
Where you keep your estate documents is important. Your documents must be kept safe from natural disasters while remaining easy for your family to find after you pass away. There are five common ways to store your estate documents safely.
Safe Deposit Box
Safe deposit boxes are available for a small annual fee at many financial institutions. These boxes, which are stored in a vault, may keep your documents safe even during a natural disaster. On the downside, your documents will only be accessible during banking hours. Also, if you pass away, your box may be sealed until your estate has settled, so it is best not to keep the original of your Last Will and Testament in this haven.
Fire-Proof Box at Home
Using a home-based fire proof box or safe is a good way to provide you and your family fast access to your documents. You can also store your documents in plastic bags within the box to keep them safe from water. If, however, your home experiences a natural disaster or if your box is stolen, your documents may be lost.
Friend or Family Member
Giving a copy of your documents to a close friend or family member is also a good idea. Choose carefully to protect the privacy of your estate plan and consider using a person who lives farther away to provide more safety from natural disasters that may befall your area. Avoid giving original documents, as they may be hard to access quickly.
When your attorney creates estate documents for you, he or she will keep a set of originals. Be sure to leave a note in your home box or safe-deposit box with your attorney information.
In the computer age, you have the option to make digital copies of your estate documents. You can do so by scanning your papers and saving them as PDFs. There are a variety of digital storage options: email storage, USB flash drives, CDs, or photo websites. Digital Storage is a great way to keep a back-up of all of your personal documents.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Kraft
Experienced estate planning attorneys Indianapolis IN of the Frank & Kraft Attorneys at Law offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Indianapolis IN.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.