You’ve done the responsible thing and gotten your estate plans together, including your will, powers of attorney and insurance designations all in order.
Now, you have one big question: Where do you put all this stuff? You have options, but some are markedly better than others.
In your home
Most people store their wills and other estate documents in their own homes for the sake of convenience. They figure that’s the easiest place for them should they need to grab those papers suddenly in a crisis or if any changes need to be made.
There are some pitfalls to this plan, however: You could have nosey relatives who aren’t shy about peeping through your documents and invading your privacy. Or, those documents could get lost in the midst of other papers (especially if you’re not incredibly organized) — and they could be hard to find when they’re needed.
At the bank
Popping your estate documents in a safety deposit box at the bank used to be popular — but that’s often a very bad plan. Even your executor may not be able to access those documents when they’re needed. For example, you could fall ill on a weekend — and having your medical power of attorney locked away in the bank’s vault won’t help you.
Plus, unless there are specific provisions for your executor, nobody may be able to access that deposit box until there’s an order from the court — and that means huge delays for your estate and your heirs.
With your attorney
If your attorney regularly handles estate planning and probate, they may be willing to store the originals of your documents in their own facility.
That will leave you with copies you can keep in your home or give to those who need quick access to them.
With the court
In Kentucky, you can file your will with the county clerk at the courthouse (in the county where you live) for a relatively small fee. This is done in a sealed envelope, with directions, to preserve your privacy.
If you’re not sure what to do with your estate plans now that you’ve made them, it never hurts to ask more questions. Your Louisville attorney can often offer insights that will make it easier to decide.