Hello, I’m Douglas G. Jackson, founding attorney of The Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson. Today, I want to talk to you about keeping original wills and other documents and about knowing where your important documents are located.
We’ve talked about the importance of having a plan for your estate including things like wills and power of attorneys, among other important documents and planning tools. What too many lawyers don’t stress enough is that its also equally important to keep original copies of these documents and to know where you are.
Yes, I know you’re guilty of it…. We all are…. You don’t know where you put that document. It happens, but with very important documents, it shouldn’t. You need a system. For things like Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, you should have an original document and you should keep it in a safe place. Where that safe place is, depends on your own risk tolerance. Maybe it’s in a drawer in your desk. Maybe it’s in a fire-safe in your bedroom. Maybe it’s in a safety-deposit box in a bank. Wherever it is, you need to know where your very important documents are, keep them together and remember.
There is one more thing that’s probably equally as important as you keeping your documents in a safe place that you remember, can you guess what it is? That’s right, tell the three-to-five people closest to you where that safe place is located. If you don’t tell the people closest to you, if something happens to you and you can’t tell them, they won’t know how to access it. It can also be a good idea to put it in writing, along with copies of the originals and give it to the people closest to you. You may also want to inform them of the attorney who drafted these for you, and inform the attorney. That way, if something does happen, they may also be able to contact the attorney who may be able to lead those people closest to you in the right direction if those people forgot your safe location.
Remember, your estate plan and important documents might as well not exist if people can’t find them. Make sure that you keep them safe and that you and the people closest to you know where they are located.
Also remember, get your legal action with the Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson.