You’ve always kept an eye to the future, and you like being prepared. That’s why you drafted your will, along with your powers of attorney for both medical and financial matters. You want to make things easier for your heirs.

Now what? Having a will and powers of attorney in place won’t do you any good if your loved ones don’t know where to find them. The court will eventually want to see the original documents, so you need to decide where to store them. Here are some options:

  • In a bank deposit box: This is an option that will protect your documents against theft, fire and other disasters that can happen at home. Before you choose this option, however, make sure that your executor knows where the documents are kept and that the bank will allow your executor access to the documents without a court order.
  • In a home safe: This option may be slightly less secure than a bank, but it could solve problems of access. Make certain that your executor knows where your safe is located and how to access it if you’re not around.
  • With your executor: Depending on your situation, you may find that the best place to leave your will and powers of attorney is with the people who need them. Your executor and other chosen representatives will then have the documents ready when they are needed.
  • In professional hands: Some legal offices will offer storage for your documents for a small fee. Your appointed representatives can then retrieve them when they are needed.

Whatever you ultimately decide, make sure that you keep your executor and other important people updated about your will’s location. You should also make certain that you don’t adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude. Your will and other estate documents should periodically be pulled out of storage and reviewed for necessary updates.