There are many different documents an individual needs to complete their estate plan. One of the most important for those not concerned about going through probate court is a will. The will details who gets what and how much. Some people also attach a personal letter for the executor to read to the heirs or to specific people.
The big question many people grapple with is where to keep the will after writing it. There are many options to consider. It is important to consider all applicable concerns and plan accordingly.
Balance security needs
AARP shares that some people decide to choose the most secure option possible and opt for a safety deposit box at a bank that only they can access. The problem with this arrangement is that family members may not think to look there. Even if they know the will is there, getting access can delay the probate process. A more highly recommended option from experts is to use a fireproof and waterproof safe right at home.
Consider family relationships
Not all family members are trustworthy and some families are more dysfunctional than others. Because of this, people often decide to leave the will with a specific, trusted person. In other instances, they might ensure only this person knows where the will is. This person could be a family member, a caretaker, a friend or an attorney.
Some people have a habit of putting things in safe places and then forgetting where those safe places are. U.S. News warns against falling into this trap. Choose somewhere easy to remember and accessible to the people who need access, but which does not invite just anyone to easily find and move it.
Note that the individual who knows where to find the will might also need access to other important documents. These might include trust documents and passwords to financial accounts.