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Where to store estate planning documents

You gave a lot of thought, time and money into the estate planning process. Your plan is unique to you and the life that you’ve lived. What you leave behind to relatives and loved ones is personal and meaningful to you and your family.

While you may have given great thought to what happens after your death, you may not have considered where to keep those documents. Storing your estate plan documents in a safe but accessible location is important to your assets distributed in the way you want.

What happens if no one finds your will?

If no one can find your will, trust or other documents, Ohio may assume that you didn’t have any. This means that your spouse or children could automatically inherit your property. While you may be fine with this distribution, you may not have intended for this to happen.

To guarantee that a court executes your final wishes, you should make sure that someone knows the location of your estate plan. A few ideas for storing your will include:

  • Leave them with your lawyer. An easy way to ensure that someone can recover your documents after your passing is to leave them with your attorney. An attorney’s office is typically a safe and confidential place for important documents such as estate planning documents.
  • Protected from disaster. It’s better to be safe than sorry when storing your will and other documents. That means storing them in a fire and flood-proof safe off the ground is wise idea. However, make sure someone will have access to the safe.
  • A safe, neutral location. Locations like safe deposit boxes can be good places to keep your estate plan information. However, experts suggest adding a trusted joint owner such as the executor of your will to ensure accessibility.

One last step

No matter where you store your estate plan, it’s important that someone can find it. Many people let their attorney or another trusted person the location of their documents in the event of your death. This is typically someone like the administrator or executor of their will.

Storing your estate plan in a junk drawer or between your couch cushions are poor locations because they can become easily lost or damaged. Don’t let your foresight go to waste and take the time to figure out a safe place for your estate planning documents.

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