So you’ve seen your attorney and you’ve signed your will and related estate planning documents. So now what do you do with them?
The Grand Travere/Antrim/Leelanau Bar Association has published a recommendation for the best ways to keep your will and other estate plan documents. We agree with those recommendation.
Store your will in a safety deposit box or in a fireproof and waterproof safe. If you store it in a safety deposit box, be sure to have someone else be able to access the box so they can retrieve your will and other items upon your death. Or at least let them know you have a safety depsit box, and at which bank. It’s also a good idea to give a copy of your will to the personal representative you’ve named in your will.
For your power of attorney for health care, you should keep the original in a safe place, and provide copies to the agents you’ve named in the document. You can also placee a copy on file with your local hospital and primary care physician.
For your power of attorney for property matters, you should keep the original in a safe place, like your fireproof/waterproof safe or safety deposit box; you wil want to make sure a person you trust knows how to access that document if you are incapacitated.
It’s also a good idea to prepare a list of all of your assets, including bank accounts and life insurance policies, so that your persoal representative or other agent can access that information when it is needed. Be sure to keep this in a seure pllace, since it obvioulsy contains sensitive information about your account numbers and other assets.
Finally, review all of your bank accounts and life insurance policies to make sure whoever is designated as the beneficiary upon your death is the person or persons you wish to have those assets. You can change beneficiary designations by using the forms provided by each insurance company or bank.