Where Should I Store My Estate Documents?
If your estate documents are stuffed in a filing cabinet or an old banker’s box, then it’s time you found a better storage system. These documents a very important and should be kept in a safe, but easily accessible place. Here are 5 suggestions for estate document storage.
- Fireproof box: A sturdy fireproof box is a great storage choice. Be sure to put your documents into plastic storage bags first, for extra protection.
- Safe: Safes are generally secure and resistant to water and fire. However, you will also need to make sure someone else aside from you knows how to get into the safe.
- Your attorney: If your attorney has written legal documents for you, then he or she will typically keep originals or copies in their office. Having a set of estate papers with your attorney and a set in a fireproof box is a good strategy.
- An out-of-town friend or relative: Asking a friend or relative you trust to hold onto your estate papers is a good way to prevent all of your documents being destroyed by a regional natural disaster such as a hurricane or a flood. If you choose to do this, be sure to include the contact information for your attorney and the executor of your will. Of course, with this option you won’t have immediate access to any of your documents should you need them.
- Online: Like everything else these days, estate planning document storage has gone digital. You simply upload the documents into an online database and provide the appropriate people with the log-in information they need. In just a few clicks, they’ll have all of your documents at their fingertips. No sifting through papers, no confusion. Keep in mind that you will still need original documents in order to satisfy a healthcare provider, a bank, or the local government.