When creating a comprehensive estate plan, you will need to make many decisions about various life- and estate-related details. You will likely need to determine who will receive your assets after your passing, who could be in charge of making important medical and financial decisions on your behalf should the need arise, and who would care for your children if needed.
Because estate planning can be an emotional and challenging process to complete, you certainly do not want anything to happen to your documents now that you have signed your papers and called your plan complete for now. Keeping your original records out of harm's way is another important aspect of planning.
A fireproof safe?
You may think that going to seemingly extreme measures is not a necessity in order to keep your estate planning documents safe. However, if anything happens to your documents, such as water damage or loss in a fire, it can be more difficult for your loved ones to implement your plans when the time comes. As a result, it may be worth your while to consider investing in a fireproof safe. This does not mean that you have to install a vault at home with a 5-inch-thick door just to store your documents.
A fireproof lockbox could serve this purpose and still make for easy storage at home. While speaking of boxes, it may be wise to rethink using a safe deposit box, if that option is on your mind. While these boxes are certainly useful for keeping assets protected, your loved ones may not be able to easily access your plans if you keep them in a safe deposit box.
What about your attorney?
As you come to the final stages of your estate planning process, the topic of storing your documents may come up. It is not unusual for attorneys to offer to keep client documents in safe storage for them. However, as times change and more offices become paperless, some attorneys may prefer that their clients hold on to the hard copies themselves.
If you are uncertain whether your attorney will store your documents, it is a worthwhile question to bring up. Whatever option you choose for storing your estate planning documents, make sure that your loved ones can access them when needed. These steps can help you have even greater peace of mind.