Safeguarding Your Wishes: Who Keeps the Original Copy of a Will? [Revealed 2024]

Your will is a vital document that outlines your wishes for distributing your assets after you pass away. But where should you keep the original copy? This blog post will explore the different options available and the role each one plays in ensuring your wishes are carried out.

The Role of the Testator: Self-Custody or Delegation?

As the person creating the will (known as the testator), you have the ultimate say in where the original is kept. Here are two main approaches:

  • Self-Custody: You can keep the original in a safe deposit box, fireproof safe at home, or another secure location. This gives you complete control, but there’s a risk of misplacement or damage.
  • Delegation: You can entrust the original to someone you trust, like an executor named in the will or an attorney. This ensures safekeeping but requires clear communication about the document’s location.

Enter the Legal Professional: The Attorney as Custodian

Many people choose their estate planning attorney to hold the original will. Here’s why this can be a good option:

  • Security: Law firms typically have secure storage facilities to protect your documents.
  • Accessibility: When the time comes, your attorney can easily locate the will and initiate the probate process.
  • Convenience: If you need to make changes to your will, the attorney already has the original readily available.

Alternatives to Traditional Options: Modern Solutions

Technology offers new ways to safeguard your will:

  • Digital Will Services: These services allow you to store your will electronically in a secure online vault. Be sure to choose a reputable service with strong security measures.
  • Safe Deposit Box with Multiple Signatories: Consider a safe deposit box requiring both you and a trusted individual (like the executor) to access the original will.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What happens if I lose the original will? Don’t panic! In many cases, a copy of the will can be used for probate if it’s a complete and accurate copy. Consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action.
  • Can I keep my will with a friend or family member? While possible, it’s important to choose someone responsible and ensure they know where the will is located and how to access it when needed.

Remember: No matter who holds your original will, clear communication is key. Inform the designated person or institution about the location of the document and how to access it.

By carefully considering these options, you can ensure your wishes are safeguarded and your loved ones have a clear path forward during a difficult time.

See Also- Family Members Hiding Will? Everything you need to know

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