The best place to store your estate plan documents is a safe yet easily accessible place. You should not leave your Estate Plan lying around on your desk or just placed in a closet in your bedroom!
Safe Deposit Box
Many people keep their Estate Planning documents in a safe deposit box. However, this might not be your best option. If the box is only in your name without a joint owner then your family may need a court order to open the box once you pass away. This will only add to legal complications.
If you do want to keep your Estate Planning documents in a safe deposit box then ensure that you have a joint owner or a person designated to have access (sometimes referred to as a Deputy).
At Home and In Office
Most people like to store their estate plan at home or in the office in a place that is protected from water and fire. Some people like to use a personal safe. If you choose this option, you’ll need to let a trusted person know of the combination to the safe. If you choose to store your documents on a shelf or in a filing cabinet, try using a high shelf or an upper cabinet, in case of a flood.
With Your Attorney
Your estate planning attorney should always have copies of your documents if you keep the originals with yourself. The court considers a person to have died intestate if an estate plan cannot be found. That is why documents should be accessible when required.