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Philadelphia PA Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Where Should I Store My Will?

 

Should you keep your Will in a safety deposit box at the bank? Probably not. But conventional wisdom, at least in the past, has been to favor storing Wills and Powers of Attorney in safety deposit boxes. 

It doesn't make much sense to keep your estate planning documents there for a couple of reasons:

  • Banks are not open 24/7. You don't want to delay the ability for your Executor to be able to get possession of your Will or Power of Attorney.
     
  • Depending on who your Executor is, he or she may face hurdles in opening the safety deposit box, particularly if they are not a joint owner of the box.
     
  • How often do you check your safety deposit box? We always recommend that people review their documents every couple of years. Having them stored in a bank does not make this easy, nor does it encourage review of the documents.

We typically recommend that clients store their original documents in a fire-proof records safe at home. Walmart, Target, Staples, etc. all sell these boxes for approximately $40. This protects the documents against any wind, rain and fire damage, but allows you to access them at your convenience.

If there is concern that a family member may try to tamper with your Will, then there are alternatives to storing your documents, including our online Legal Vault service. 

Additionally, if there is great concern that a family member would tamper with your Will, or that a potential Will challenge is possible, there are other estate planning tools that can help to prevent this. 

If you have any questions about storing your Wills or Will challenges, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office.

 

Let our firm assist you: Our firm offers a complimentary estate plan review and consultation. Please call us today at (215) 706-0200 or email us.

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The Law Offices of Jeremy A. Wechsler assist clients with Estate Planning matters in Willow Grove, PA as well as Abington, Hatboro, Dresher, Horsham, Bryn Athyn, Huntingdon Valley, Fort Washington, Jenkintown, Glenside, Oreland, Warminister, Wyncote, Ambler, Elkins Park, Flourtown, Philadelphia, Warrington, Cheltenham, Gwynedd Valley, Jamison, Feasterville Trevose, Richboro, North Wales, Blue Bell, Lafayette Hill, King of Prussia, Collegeville, Oaks, Phoenixville, Oxford Valley, Langhorne, Penndel, Bristol, Fairless Hills, Bensalem, Plymouth Meeting, Furlong, Philadelphia County, Bucks County and Montgomery County.

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