Creating an estate plan is important, but so is keeping it safe. A person should understand the best way to keep his or her documents safe until they are needed. However, the manner in which they are stored should not be so safe that loved ones cannot access them in the future. Here are a few suggestions for protecting estate planning documents.
Florida movie fans might notice that safe deposit boxes might be popular choices in movies, but they are often ineffective in real life. This is because a person can give a trusted individual authority to access the box through the original estate planning documents, but that authorization is likely contained in the will, which is in the box. Having an inaccessible estate plan does not help anyone.
Better options include leaving the original documents with a person's attorney or safely storing the information at home. When keeping the documents at home, they are best stored in a fireproof safe. Copies of the originals can be kept in other secure locations. In this case, storing copies in a safe deposit box may be a good idea, as well as with an attorney. Maintaining an electronic copy is also a good idea.
Keeping estate planning documents safe should be a priority, especially since most people spend a significant amount of time, effort and thought on crafting their plans. Deciding what to include in wills and where to store them is not always easy, though. An experienced Florida attorney should be able to explain a person's options if he or she feels confused by the process.