Lee Drizin: Hi everyone. This is Attorney Lee Drizin, and today I want to talk about where is the best place for you to store your estate planning documents. You’ve gone through this process of gathering all your information, putting your desires down on paper, meeting with your attorney, and ultimately, reviewing the documents that have been prepared for you and getting those executed. Now, where do you keep these documents?
Avoid Safe Deposit Box
A lot of clients often think that the best place is to keep them in a safe deposit box. We generally recommend that that is not to be used. The reason is, is that if that key to the safe deposit box can’t be found at the time of your passing, we’re going to have to go in and incur additional attorney’s fees to file a petition with the court to get access to the box.
In addition, the bank’s going to charge some pretty hefty fees for drilling the box to get access so your family members can gain access to the documents.
The Better Solution
The alternative is to use a fireproof box that you store at home. Those can be bought at a number of different stores. They’re generally no more than $40 or $50, but the key is making sure that it’s fireproof. Then place your documents in that box and put a lock on that box. If for some reason, that key is misplaced, it’s easy enough for us to get into that box with a pair of bolt cutters.
It’s also important that your family members know where you keep that box, whether you put it in a drawer, under your bed, et cetera. The people you nominate as successor trustees, personal representatives, or powers of attorney, should know where the documents are, so they can try and get access as soon as possible.
For more information about wills and trusts and storage of documents, please don’t hesitate to go to our website at www.drizinlaw.com. Take care now.