How to Safe-Guard Your Will

Best places to keep your Will

Your Home: If you have a fireproof and waterproof metal box or home safe, this may be a good option. Before you choose this location, make sure that you let your executor know where your Will is and that he or she Will have access to your home after you’ve died. Furthermore, if the box or safe you use has a lock or combination, be sure to tell your executor how to open it.

With Your Executor: Because your executor is the one who ultimately needs your Will, it may make sense to give him or her the original copy, provided the executor has a safe place to store it. If you choose this option, be certain your executor is someone you trust, because you may want to get your Will back someday if you want to change it. Also note that your executor will probably be able to read your Will once its in his or her possession. If you’d like to keep your Will private until you pass, you may deliver it to your executor in a sealed envelope with the instructions not to open it until you die.

With Your Lawyer/Attorney: many law firms have vaults and agree to store their client's Will at no charge. Be sure to provide your lawyer’ name and address to your executor

Other common places to keep your Will

A Less Safe Place in Your Home: Keeping your Will at home has the benefit of ensuring you are able to access it easily and that its contents will likely remain private until you’ve passed on. However, if you keep your Will at home, but don’t have somewhere fireproof and waterproof, there’s a chance it could be damaged by floods or fires, or even stolen. If you decide to keep your will in your home anyway, ensure your executor knows where to look and that he or she will have access.

In a Safe Deposit Box: Safe deposit boxes can be found at many banks. They are secure, but your executor may have difficulty accessing yours after you’ve passed. If the box is in your name alone, then the executor may have trouble gaining access. If you choose to use this option, you should speak to the bank to determine thru les for granting access after your death.

In Digital Archives: Keeping a digital copy of your Will is an option. However, the court often requires an original signed copy, in which case, a digital copy Will not suffice.

  What to store with your Will

It’s generally best to keep all your estate planning documents and advance directives together, so they’re easy to keep track of. This includes your advance healthcare directive, financial power of attorney, medical representation agreement/power of attorney, and living will or trust, if you have one.

  What if no one can find my Will?

If you die without a Will (Intestate), legislation and the Courts will determine who is entitled to your estate and the amount of your estate that they will receive. If you die without a Will and without next of kin, your estate vests in the Government. If you have infant children and you die without a Will and if your Spouse is also deceased or unfit to act as the parent of your children, the Court will appoint someone to care for your children. This person may not be the person you would have chosen as the Guardian for your children. Contested Guardianship proceedings will result in your Estate incurring needless expense.