Where Should I Keep My Original Will?

Persons with wills should be extremely careful where they store their original wills. Original wills can be lost, destroyed or stolen. Without the will, it may be difficult if not impossible to implement the intentions of the deceased.

Although not legally required, a person can record their original will with the clerk of court in the parish where they live. This is more expensive. But, it is probably the safest place to store a will and is easiest to find.

Another option is to keep your will in a safety deposit box. This option is safe from theft and destruction. But, there are rental fees that are charged by banks. Also, it is important to make sure that legatees know about the safety deposit box and have access in the event of the decedent’s death.

Another option is to allow the preparing attorney to keep the original will. Some attorneys charge storage fees for keeping original wills. Other attorneys do not. The advantages of this option are that there is a smaller possibility of theft or destruction. The problem with this option is that legatees need to know what attorney has the will. Otherwise, they may not know where to look for it.

Another option is for the decedent to keep the will or allow a legatee that has a vested interest in enforcing the will to keep it. Although less expensive, this option is the least safe. A fire proof safe should be used to avoid theft and destruction.

If you have any questions about wills, you should consult and experienced estate planning attorney.