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Where to Store Important Estate Planning Documents

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Tampa Probate Lawyer / Blog / Estate Planning / Where to Store Important Estate Planning Documents

Where to Store Important Estate Planning Documents


Creating a comprehensive estate plan is a very important and responsible thing to do. However, having an estate plan in place does little good if your personal representative, power of attorney, or lawyer cannot find them after you pass away. If no one can locate your estate planning documents, there may be a legal assumption made after you pass away that you did not draft a plan. If this happens, your estate may be distributed according to the intestacy laws in Florida. Below, our New Port Richey estate planning lawyer outlines where to store, and where not to store, your important documents.

Considerations if Using a Safety Deposit Box

 Generally speaking, using a safety deposit box to store your estate planning documents is not recommended. While they will certainly be safe, it can make it difficult for your loved ones to access the documents quickly. If you are the only person with authorization to access the box, your family may have to obtain a court order to access it. To avoid this, you can give someone else joint ownership of the box, or you can assign ownership to a trust. Your successor trustee will then have access to the safety deposit box and can retrieve the important documents when needed.

How to Store Your Documents at Home 

You can and should have at least one copy of your estate planning documents at home. It is important, though, that you store them at home properly. Keep in mind the weather in Florida is unpredictable. Heavy rains, high winds, and hail can all cause damage to a home. To protect your most important documents, keep them in a safe that is both fire and waterproof. Also keep the documents up high in case your home experiences flooding. This is additional protection that will make sure your documents are kept safe and intact.

Make Several Copies 

The best way to ensure your loved ones can access your estate planning documents if necessary is to make many copies and leave them in different locations. Ensure your estate planning lawyer who drafted your documents maintains a copy for you and keep a copy in your safe at home. You should also give a copy to someone you trust. Ideally, this is the person you named as the personal representative or power of attorney. This will ensure that when the time comes, your family will have immediate access to your estate plan and avoid the additional stress of trying to find it.

Call Our Estate Planning Lawyer Today 

There are many factors to consider when it comes to your estate plan, including where to store them. At Messina Law Group, P.A., our  estate planning lawyer can draft the important documents you need and make sure they are stored properly so your final wishes are respected. We also have offices in New Port Richey OR Tampa, Wesley Chapel, and Dunedin.  Call us now at (813) 492-7798 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation with our experienced attorney and to get the legal help you need.




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