When you walk out of Palmer & Slay’s Brandon, MS office after executing your estate plan, you will be carrying a relatively thick stack of papers with you. Our typical clients take home the original signed version of their will, power of attorney documents, and trust documents, as well as copies of all of those documents. What you do with all your paperwork is up to you, but we have a few suggestions.
The original versions of all of your documents should be kept in a safe place so they are easy to locate when needed. The court will only accept the original version of your will, not a copy, so it is critical that you keep your original estate planning documents safe and accessible.
Storing them in a file cabinet or fire and waterproof box in your home is perfectly acceptable. Putting them in an in-home safe is okay if your future estate executor is able to access them without your assistance when needed.
We do not recommend storing your original estate planning documents in a safe deposit box at a bank. Even jointly held boxes may be inaccessible without a court order if the bank discovers that one of the box renters has died.
No matter where you choose to keep your original documents, the important thing is that the person you have chosen to serve as your estate executor knows where they are and can easily get to them.
The copies of your estate planning documents should be put to work to ensure your wishes are carried out.
Take the original version of your healthcare power of attorney document to your primary care physician so a copy of it can be included in your medical records. Make sure they give the original version back to you.
Next, take your durable power of attorney document to your bank and any other financial institutions you work with and have them make a copy of it for their files. Once again, make sure they give you the original version back.
Give a copy of your power of attorney documents to the person or people you have chosen to make decisions on your behalf when needed. Tell them where the original versions of your POA documents are stored, and how to access them. This will help ensure your chosen representatives will be able to act on your behalf when you need them.
If you have life insurance, retirement accounts, or financial accounts that have a named beneficiary, or you filled out a payable on death (POD) form in the past, you may need to update them so they do not mess up your estate plan. If so, they will want to make a copy of the relevant portions of your estate plan to have on file. If you have questions about this, the Palmer & Slay team can help you figure out exactly what changes to your existing accounts and assets need to be made.
Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys In Brandon, Mississippi
If you have questions about what to do with your estate planning documents, or concerns about your estate plan itself, the Palmer & Slay team is here for you. Our experienced estate planning attorneys help families in the Brandon, Mississippi area ensure their loved ones’ wishes are carried out. Please contact us today to schedule a meeting with a member of our team.