You’ve finally sat down with your favorite estate planning attorney at Caitlyn Ashley Law and have a comprehensive last will and testament in your possession that you can be proud of. It’s a wonderful feeling, and we couldn’t be happier for you. But as you run home to safely store those physical documents, don’t forget to let loved ones know you have a will and where you’ve stashed it.
Every once in a while, we hear horror stories about people who do the complete opposite. They’re so excited to finally have a will in place that they forget to tell their adult children, grandkids, siblings, and anyone else they trust that they have one and where to find it.
And it’s not just their will. Estate planning includes many other critical documents to which loved ones will eventually need access.
• Burial directives
• And more …
God forbid you were to suddenly die or become incapacitated due to injury or illness before anyone knew you have a specific list of instructions for those moments. Or worse, they know those docs exist but have no clue where they are.
Don’t just rely on the physical documents!
As we’ve written about several times in our library of blog posts, we are huge proponents of storing your original estate planning documents in a safe place. This could be in a fireproof and waterproof safe at home or even in a safe deposit box at the local bank. But there are additional steps you can take right now to ensure the people who need to know they exist have access to them.
Have a conversation with your friends and family. Let them know the steps you’ve taken and where you plan on keeping everything.
If you use a safe deposit box to store your original will, trust, etc., make sure the executor or someone else has a key and that their name is listed on the access paperwork with the bank. This way, someone can get to them when you cannot.
Provide copies to your executor and other trusted people.
Talk to your estate planning attorney about safely maintaining copies at their office if this is a service they provide. To go a step further, ensure that your loved ones have your attorney’s contact information.
Consider having digital copies. Digital copies can be stored online anywhere you feel comfortable. This eliminates the threat of them being destroyed by fire or flood while also making them accessible from anywhere in a pinch.
Call Caitlyn Ashley Law today!!
Having a plan for the future is the most important gift you can give yourself and your family. Granted, none of us will ever know for sure what is around every corner in life. And just thinking about the what-ifs — what if I were to die or become incapacitated tomorrow; what if my child with special needs has no one to care for her; what if all my “stuff” isn’t passed onto the right people — can be overwhelming. But having a plan that accounts for your family’s unique circumstances, puts your affairs in order, has concrete solutions to your concerns, lays out your wishes and goals, and protects your family’s future provides peace of mind for the road ahead.
Caitlyn Ashley Law in Denton, Texas, will counsel you on which documents are best suited for your needs and ensure they are flexible enough to meet your changing needs for years to come.