Call For A Consultation
Prince William County
Writing your will, drafting financial and healthcare powers of attorney, and ensuring you have a living will in place are all steps that give you and your family the peace of mind that comes with careful estate planning. However, if you and your loved ones do not have a secure, memorable, and accessible place to store these documents, you may face challenges when those documents are needed.
By making a plan with your Fairfax County will and trust attorney and communicating it to your fiduciaries, you can avoid chaos and confusion if something suddenly happens to you. Here are some of the best ways to store the documents your family may need if you become incapacitated or pass away.
Your Lawyer’s Office
If you have an estate planning attorney who has written your documents for you, they will keep a copy at their office. It is important that you ensure that key family members have your lawyer’s name, address, and contact information.
However, your lawyer’s office may not be open when an emergency occurs. Furthermore, many legal professionals have begun working from home more frequently in the last few years, so you should be sure to have copies of your documents stored elsewhere as well.
A Fireproof Home Safe
The safe you choose should be light enough to carry if an emergency occurs. Before you place your documents into the safe for storage, be sure to put them in waterproof plastic storage bags so that they do not get damaged in a flood. It is essential, of course, that someone else has the combination or the key to the safe as well.
As is the case with everything else these days, it is possible and encouraged to store your estate planning documents in an online “cloud” database. If you choose this option, be sure to provide the appropriate fiduciaries with the necessary log-in information, and they will be able to access the documents from wherever they are.
You will still need to maintain hard copies of the original documents, however, as your healthcare provider, your bank, and the local government will need to see these.
Is a Safety Deposit Box a Good Option?
Safety deposit boxes are a tried-and-true method for storing valuable documents and items. However, when it comes to estate planning documents, safety deposit boxes are not generally the best storage method. Aside from the fact that they are subject to bank opening hours, they are not generally accessible to people who are not the owners of the box. This means that a person who is attempting to access a financial power of attorney in a safety deposit box will be unable to obtain it because the document they need to allow the bank to let them access the box is within the box itself.
Speak with a Fairfax County Will and Trust Attorney
If you have any doubts at all about how to keep your documents safe and accessible, speak with our experienced Fairfax County will and trust attorneys. We can provide you with options that will suit your individual needs. To schedule an appointment at our law firm, simply call 703-492-9955.