The uncertainty revolving around the global pandemic has accelerated estate planning activities in the US. 77% of American adults believe that will writing and estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of your wealth or income levels.
Completing your estate plan can fill you with pride and satisfaction, knowing that your family will remain protected in the future. You also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your legacy is safe. However, one vital task remains: safekeeping your trust and estate documents.
Why Keeping Your Trust and Estate Documents Safe Matters
After you complete your estate planning, you retain the original signed documents. Your attorney may have a copy, but most times, you will have possession of the original records. The original trust and estate documents have a significant legal implication, without which your family may face substantial legal obstacles relating to the administration of your estate.
Most states require that the personal representative of the deceased estate present the original copy of the last will for probate. If your family can not locate the documents, a legal concern may arise that can delay the trust and estate administration.
In some states, if the original copy gets lost, destroyed, or is missing, the courts establish a legal presumption that you destroyed the will intending to revoke it. The implication is that your estate will be distributed as if you died without a will in place. While some statutes allow the tabling of a copy of the will as proof of existence and validity of a will in some circumstances, the best option would be to store the original documents in a safe and secure place.
Sharing The Location Of Your Trust And Estate Documents
Finding a secure place such as a home safe or private vault storage to keep these vital records is the first step. You may need to inform one or more people on where to locate your will if you happen to pass away or be incapacitated. Informing the personal representative is an excellent idea. For trusts, you may need to let the trustee or successor trustee know.
Securing Your Documents In Safe Deposit Box
Most Americans get a safe deposit vault from firms such as GTD for storing important papers such as the power of attorney, trust and estate documents, and much more. The advantage of the safe deposit box is that it is private, and only people with the keys and listed on the vault contract can access it.
Laws that stipulate who can open a safe deposit box may vary from state to state. If the right to open the box dies with you, your family may require a court order which may result in delays. If you decide to store in a private vault, let your executor or personal representative know. Make sure that they have access to it. You may also opt to give them an extra key if they cannot locate yours. You can also name a revocable trust as the owner of the box.
Do Not Wait for Tomorrow
Safeguarding your last will is a vital part of the estate planning process. If you wish to safe-keep your trust and estate documents in private vault storage, reach out to our team today. We also offer investment and asset management services as well as bonded courier services.