Your estate plan is finished, congratulations! Now, what do you do? Where do you store the documents? Whom do you tell about the plans? Read on more to find out how you can protect your personal information while providing your family with answers when they need them.
Options for Storing Important Documents
When you have sensitive documents containing your bank information and lists of assets, you will want to keep them in a safe place or with someone you trust. Here are some sensible options:
- Fire-Proof Safe: Keep a safe in your home with a combo lock and/or key. If your house were to burn down or get flooded, your documents would be dry and untouched inside the safe. Store the combo on your computer or give it to a family member you trust.
- Safety Deposit Box: Banks offer a safety deposit box to keep valuable or sentimental items with them. Use the safety deposit box to your advantage and give your loved ones instructions on how to access it.
- With Your Lawyer: When your lawyer helps you complete your estate planning documents, they can also store them for you. Then you never have to worry about losing the documents, damaging them, or having them fall into the wrong hands.
- Online Storage Options: You can always store your estate planning documents online. Choose a USB drive for portable storage or keep it on your computer under a password-protected document. In addition, use cloud storage like Google Docs or Dropbox to store your estate plans. Encrypt the files in case someone tries to hack your computer and access personal information.
Once your estate plans are tucked away in a safe place, talk with a trusted loved one about how to access the documents if you were to pass away or become incapacitated. Leave clear instructions for these critical documents so your loved one knows what to do when they are distressed and mourning. Sorting through these admin responsibilities after losing a loved one can be a considerable burden. Lift that burden by thoroughly preparing them in advance.
Ready to get your estate plan in place? Shoup Legal is here to help you gain the peace of mind you deserve by knowing you and your family are properly protected by your estate plan. Contact us at (951) 445-4114 or email us at [email protected] to take that first step today.