The Importance of Keeping Your Estate Planning Documents Safe

May 24, 2022
Alec Borenstein, Esq.

Creating an estate plan is an important step to take at any age. However, after drafting all of your documents, it’s key that you don’t overlook the importance of keeping them safe and secure. This involves proper storage and finding the right people to look after your estate planning documents. Here’s what you need to know from our New Jersey estate planning attorneys:

 

Properly Storing Your Documents

Proper storage for your estate planning documents is much more important than you think. You want to keep your documents in a safe location where not only you but your loved ones can access them easily. About 85% of our clients have us store their documents in our fire-proof safe. However, you can also keep them at home where only you can access them.

 

Now, you’re also likely thinking about storing your estate planning documents in a safe deposit box. This is a huge mistake that you’ll want to avoid. Let’s say you were to pass away suddenly, and no one else can access your safe deposit box. Your family will then need court authority to obtain your estate planning documents. Storing your documents in a safety deposit box is like storing the key to the box, in the box. Definitely not a good idea.

 

Making Copies of Your Documents

Most of our clients just want us to send them electronic copies of their documents. For those clients, paper copies just add clutter to their lives. However, some clients want us to send them hard copies as well. Our protocol is to do whatever the client thinks is best.

 

Consider Purchasing a Safe

If you decide to store your documents at home, you should consider investing in a water- and fire-proof safe. This way, you can protect your documents if a fire, flood, or other natural disaster afflicts your home. However, the main caveat here is that you don't forget to tell other people about the safe, its location, and how to access it (security code, keys, etc.).

 

Inform Your Family About the Documents

Close family members and your executor should know where and how you’re storing your estate planning documents. Providing them with this information will ensure that they can access them when necessary. However, you can make arrangements where only your attorney will know where and how to make the documents available.

 

Discuss the Matter With Your Attorney

When you’re going through the process of storing and protecting your documents, ask your attorney what they recommend. They can explain multiple different ways in which you can keep track of them. Discussing what you should do with an attorney can help clarify your options and make the decision a lot easier.

 

Estate Planning Made Simple

You don’t have to overcomplicate the process of planning your estate. The experts here at BMC Estate Planning in New Jersey and New York can handle everything for you. We ensure that you don’t overlook a single detail, which will significantly strengthen your plan. Give us a call today, and we can answer any questions you have about the process.

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About us

Borenstein, McConnell & Calpin, P.C. is a Wills & Estate Planning law firm serving Central and Northern New Jersey, as well as New York City. We strive not only to give you a great client experience, but to become your trusted adviser for life. To reach Alec, please send an email to alec@bmcestateplanning.com.

NJ Offices:
155 Morris Avenue, Suite 201
Springfield, NJ 07081

3 Werner Way, Suite 230
Lebanon, NJ 08833

NY Office:
4607 Fort Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11219