When it comes to estate planning, many people invest considerable time and effort in creating essential documents like a Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Health Care Power of Attorney. However, their efforts may be in vain if these critical documents are not stored properly or are accessible when needed the most. This blog post explores the importance of storing estate planning documents correctly, the risks associated with inadequate storage, and the best practices to ensure your legacy is safe and secure.
The Ideal Storage Solution for Estate Planning Documents
Estate planning documents should be kept together in a secure fire and waterproof container, with fiduciaries aware of its location. This way, you and your loved ones can easily access your documents when needed, without any restrictions.
Tip: Avoid Safe Deposit Boxes
Although bank safe deposit boxes seem secure, they pose several challenges. Individuals may not have access to the box without being named on the account, and emergencies don’t adhere to bankers’ hours. Furthermore, if the Power of Attorney granting access to the box is inside it, bank officials may be hesitant to open it for an unknown person.
Document Distribution and Preparation
Apart from proper storage, certain estate planning documents should be distributed in advance to relevant agencies and individuals:
Provide health care documents, like the Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive (Living Will), to healthcare providers for inclusion in your medical records. This ensures they are accessible 24/7 in emergencies.
Power of Attorney Documents:
Give Power of Attorney documents to financial institutions or agencies in preparation for future use. Waiting until a parent is incapacitated or has passed away can be immensely stressful and time-consuming.
Durable General Powers of Attorney:
Depending on your location, you may need to file Durable General Powers of Attorney at the county clerk’s office. Keep the document updated if any changes occur.
Unlike Power of Attorney documents, wills are typically kept at home until after death, and their proper storage is essential.
In conclusion, storing your estate planning documents correctly is as crucial as creating them in the first place. Opt for a fire and waterproof container at home, distribute relevant documents in advance, and ensure all fiduciaries have copies. With these best practices in place, you can ensure that your legacy is safe, accessible, and ready to be executed when needed.
Contact Ozarks Legacy Law Today
If you need assistance with estate planning or have any questions about proper document storage, don’t hesitate to reach out to Ozarks Legacy Law today. Our team of experienced estate planning attorneys can guide you through the process, helping you secure your legacy and providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
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