Storing Your Will
After you have gone through the effort to create a thorough last will and testament, take the time to file or store your will so your survivors can find it. If your will is hidden or inaccessible, all of your effort will be for nothing. Your attorney or estate planner will also have a suggested system for the safekeeping of your will.
Make several copies of your will. Add a cover page to each copy with an indication of where the original is being kept. Keep at least one copy of the will in your own documents at home. If you are comfortable, give another copy to the person named as the executor of your will. If you don’t want anyone to read your will before you pass, at least hand out instructions as to where the original is stored.
Avoid using a safety deposit box to store your will. Generally, there are several, strict security measures in place for opening safety deposit boxes, and the death of the box’s owner only makes accessing the box more complicated.
Your local county clerk (or other municipal office) may store your will for a nominal fee. Because this is a lesser-known location to store a will, make sure you provide sufficient instructions as to the local office where you filed your will. In addition, there may not be strict privacy laws that protect your will from being reviewed prior to your death.
If you want to keep the original in your home, buy a fire-proof lock box to store your will. Generally, these boxes are helpful for keeping critical papers such as your will, the title to your cars, and any precious jewelry.
Your lawyer may offer to keep the will in his or her office. This is generally the best idea, however, as mentioned above, leave your family the name of this lawyer, his or her address, and contact information.