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A Philadelphia Estate Planning Attorney Offers Advice on How and Where to Keep Your Will

Anthony J. Caiazzo April 4, 2022

In this article, an experienced Philadelphia estate planning attorney addresses the importance of finding a secure, accessible, logical place to keep your will.

Your Last Will and Testament

Your will is your means of communicating your wishes to your heirs and protecting your estate. Storing it safely in a place where it is protected and accessible when the need arises is a sensible precaution.

Choosing a Safe Place

Naturally, security is important as you select the place where you will keep your will. People usually group their important documents – such as deeds, birth and marriage certificates, leases or other agreements, titles to vehicles, medical or financial information, and their wills – all together. A safe or fireproof file box works well for this purpose. While you will probably wish to keep the original in your home, your Philadelphia estate planning lawyer should have a copy of your will on file as well as a notation as to the location of the original.

Don’t Hide Your Will

Fire, flood and theft are not the usual reasons for the apparent disappearance of a will. More often, it has been misplaced, misfiled or deliberately hidden by the person who made it. While it may be tempting to squirrel a will away, thinking that by doing so you are protecting it, it is counterproductive. All this does is cause your heirs to ransack your house in a panic-stricken attempt to find it, making a painful time in their lives even worse. Your will needs to be where your heirs or your designated representative can readily access it when the time comes.

Your Designated Representatives

These are people you have chosen to act for you in the event that you are unable to act for yourself. Usually there is a primary and an alternate. Both of these people need to know where your will is being kept. In the event that you outlive both of them, your heirs must also know, as should your attorney.

Safe Deposit Boxes

If you should choose to keep your will in a safe deposit box, do advise the appropriate people that you have chosen this alternative. You should also authorize the bank manager to release your will to your attorney, your heirs or your designated representatives upon your death.

For Advice and Help

The planning of your estate, including the making and preservation of your will, should never be left to chance. Be proactive by calling Caiazzo Law for a Philadelphia estate planning attorney today.