Question: What should I do with the Will I made? Should I keep it somewhere specific or tell certain people about it?

Answer: Even the best and most carefully drafted Last Will and Testament won’t do you any good if no one can find it. Wills are not filed or recorded anywhere and there is no central storage database. If you want your loved ones to know you have a Will, you need to tell them! You should tell them that 1) you created a Will and 2) where they can find it.

Your original estate planning documents, including your Will, should be stored in a safe place. Make sure your loved ones know that you have an estate plan and that the originals are located in your safe deposit box. Make sure you also tell them what bank you are using. Telling your loved ones includes telling your spouse, children, parents or anyone else that would be searching for your estate plan documents if something were to happen to you.

Another good idea is to give copies of your Will and other estate planning documents to the important people named in the documents. For example, you might want to give copies to the personal representatives named in your Will, and the agents you named in your powers of attorney. It is critical that these key people can find your documents when and if it becomes necessary. This will save your loved ones a lot of frustrating time trying to locate these documents and instead focus on what’s important – you. In emergency situations, the time spent looking for these documents could be absolutely critical to your well being. We’ve found that the best way to do this is to scan the documents and email them to the appropriate people. If you purchase a signing conference along with your Neal Law Firm estate plan, we will scan the documents for you and email them to you. This makes it easy for even the computer challenged to send the documents to the appropriate people. Alternatively, you can make copies and distribute them to the right people.

Also, be sure to review your Will from time to time to be sure that the information in the Will is still correct. If you get divorced or have more children, it is time to update your Will. You may also find during periodic reviews that people you named in key positions have moved away, passed away or no longer up to the task. Be sure to amend your Will as necessary to ensure that your estate plan works exactly how you want.