How Can you Safely Store your Last Will?

Photo by Anna Auza via Unsplash

When you write a will, you want to make sure that it keeps your family safe and secure. But how can you be sure that the document is safe? Or that your loved ones can find it after you pass away? In short, how can you safely store your last will? There are many steps that people can take to secure their last wills. And you need to know which ones are most effective in order to protect yourself. You may have caught yourself wondering how can you safely sore your last will. In this article, we’ll cover all of the necessary steps for ensuring that your last will is safe and accessible.

Store your will in a safe place, but don't hide it

As you probably know, it’s important to keep your will safe and secure. After all, this is a document that could cause a lot of chaos if it fell into the wrong hands. One way to make sure that doesn’t happen is by keeping your will in a locked safe or fireproof box. This prevents intruders from gaining access to it. It also protects against natural disasters such as floods or fires.

You don’t feel like buying a lockbox just yet? No worries, there are other ways you can protect your will from criminals and thieves.

A home safe is great, a safe deposit box not so much

Your will is one of the most important things you need to keep safe, so it’s not just about storing it securely for yourself. Do you have children or others who are dependent on you? Then this document may also be critical to their well-being.

Your home safe is a much better place than a safe deposit box. It’s an inexpensive thing to do. This could save your family or dependents significant time and money. Especially when they need access to your important documents after your death.

A safe deposit box is safe – as the name indicates after all. However it might be less accessible than you think. Certain safe deposit boxes might end up temporarily inaccessible after your passing. Even if other people co-own the deposit boxes with you, they may still have to wait. That could be bad if a court distributes your estate before anyone can access your will.

Leave a copy with your lawyer

If you want to make sure you safely store your will, leave a copy with your lawyer. Your lawyer will keep it safe and accessible in case you need it. They can even help you if you change it or file it.

The only downside of this is that you probably have to pay in order to make use of an attorney’s services. You need to ask yourself if you want to pay for a service that a trusted friend could also provide.

Give your executor a copy of the will

When naming your executor, consider whether you can trust this person to fulfill their duties. If there is any doubt, it may be better to name a different executor. As we said before, you need to keep your will private and secure until after your death. This way only the people relevant to it can access it. An executor is such a person. Since they will be executing the will regardless, you can provide them a copy of it in advance. This way they can be prepared. We do not recommend that you give them the original will though. It’s better if you keep this with you.

Do you have doubts about being able to trust the executor with all of this information? Then consider making them co-executor alongside someone else instead of sole executor. This way they’ll still have access to all of the information they need. And at the same time they won’t be in complete control by themselves.

Store it as part of your other important documents

You should also store your last will and testament as part of your other important documents, such as passports and birth certificates. However, make sure that the place where you keep these important documents is fireproof.

Don’t place it alongside other less important documents though. This way your relatives may end up misplacing it after your die, thinking it’s all clutter. Only place the will in the same place where you exclusively safe keep important documents.

File it directly to the probate court

If you’re filing your will with the probate court, you’re doing your executor a favor.

Let’s say you have $10 million and you have children who fight over money. Let them know that you have filed your will at the probate court. This way they won’t try to adopt fake wills that make them look like they are the real inheritors of all your wealth. Because if they do, then a judge will invalidate and void their fake wills. Not to mention any potential perjury charges.

This is why it’s useful to file your will directly to the probate court. Then  nobody can sneakily adopt another copy of it. Or worse, even trick law firms into signing off on fake copies. These might even cost thousands of dollars in fees but they’ll end up being worthless anyway.

Save your will online

You can save your will online. Not only is it convenient, but many people store all their important documents in one place, so it’s easy to keep track of them.

However, keep in mind that (at least currently) all such documents must be in physical form to be legally binding. It’s always to keep a copy of your will online too.

Myend's Last Will offers a versatile alternative

Myend’s services allow you to not only fill out your last will online, but also keep it safe in our servers. You can download it whenever you want, print it and file it. It’s also very easy to update it online and print it again. By naming Legacy Contacts, you also allow your loved ones to be part of the process. This way you don’t have to ever worry about misplacing your last will.

Final Thoughts

While there are many ways to keep your last will safe and secure, we hope that you’ll take the time to make sure it’s in a place where it won’t be vulnerable. And remember: are you planning on leaving something behind when you pass away? Then make sure whoever receives that gift has an up-to-date copy of the will so they know what they’re getting! We hope we answered the question how can you safely store your last will. But if you do end up needing help, please feel free to reach out to us.

Myend offers the perfect estate and end-of-life planning for all! This way navigating such complicated issues gets easier. Have a look here to learn more. And if you’re ready for action, sign up today for your free account! The estate planning of the future is here today.

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Myend is not a law firm, it does not engage in the practice of law, and it does not render any official legal advice. Therefore, you are hereby advised to seek your own legal counsel regarding any legal issues. Myend’s articles are meant to be taken as suggestions and therefore Myend carries no responsibility for the user’s actions.