While it can be easy to procrastinate when it comes to estate planning, writing a last will and testament is the most effective way to have some control over what happens to your assets after your death. According to reporting from CNBC, it is also important to review and update your planning documents regularly.
After putting in the effort to draft and sign a comprehensive and meaningful will, you might wonder where you should store the document. Even though your instinct may be to put it into a safe deposit box, doing so is not a great idea. So, where should the original will go?
The New York Surrogate Court
Some states allow estate planners to file their original wills with a court. New York is one of these states. In fact, you can record your original will with the New York Surrogate Court in the county where you reside, which will officially keep a record of the document. When you update your will, you also should consider filing an updated version with the Surrogate Court.
Your attorney’s office
If you use an attorney to write your will, you should ask your lawyer to retain a copy and/or the original. This can be helpful, as your legal counsel has ready access to the document when you want to make changes or revisions. Moreover, because lawyers must keep documents secure and confidential, you can be certain your will is in a safe place.
So you can routinely review your will, you probably want to have a copy in your home. Putting the document into a fireproof cabinet generally makes sense. Naturally, though, you should be certain your executor and close relatives know how to find your will when necessary.
Ultimately, as long as you always put your original will in a safe and accessible location, your storage strategy is probably acceptable.