Do you, like many Americans, consider a safe deposit box the best place for storing important documents? Do you have a safe deposit box located at your local Florida bank where you store your important papers and even some of your valuables? Now that you have just completed your estate plan with your Florida estate planning attorney, where are you thinking about keeping your estate planning documents?
In thinking about where to put your estate planning documents, what are the discussions about where to safely keep them? Are you thinking about keeping them at your bank? What are the pros and cons to keeping them in a safe deposit box at the bank? In our blog we would like to share more with you on this subject so you can make an informed decision.
Many estate planning lawyers may advise clients not to keep the original copies of their estate planning documents in a safe deposit box. One reason is that the bank is open only on certain days, at specific times. Secondly, only the owner or owners can access the box. Finally, if you are the only owner of your safe deposit box, at your death your family and/or personal representative of your estate may need a court order to access your documents.
Now, there may be ways for others to access your safe deposit box by adding additional owners to your box, but you may not want to or forget to add them. Also, you could ask your attorney to allow your agent access to your safe deposit box in your durable power of attorney. Often, however, banks do not always honor these documents when the time to access the safe deposit box comes. In addition, the durable power ceases to work upon your passing.
So, where else could you put your original estate planning documents? You could put them in a fireproof and waterproof lockbox in your home, in a home safe or in a secure container in a safe place in your home.
It is important to mention right now, that no matter where you decide to keep your original documents, you should have copies. Remember, without the originals of your will and other estate planning documents, there can be challenges later for both your needs and the needs of your family. There may also be issues in reaching any goals you may have for your legacy. It is vital that you discuss this now with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney.
We know you may have questions about this, and many other, elder care issues. At the Perlin Estate Planning & Probate our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.