In the event of a disaster, such as a flood or a fire, it is crucial to ensure the safety of your vital documents. This is because if your estate planning documents are destroyed, such as your original Last Will and Testament, it can create a number of problems for your loved ones down the road.
To protect you from these problems, we have prepared the below guide. In it, we will walk you through a step-by-step approach to keeping your documents safe and easily retrievable during an emergency.
Keep Track of The Documents You Want To Protect
Following an emergency, there is usually certain information you want to be able to access quickly, including the following:
- Passwords and Account Information: To ensure the safety of your online accounts, it is crucial to maintain a list of your bank and email accounts along with their corresponding passwords.
- Contact Details of Certain Professionals: Ensure that you have the necessary contact information for your lawyers, advisors, and insurers in case you need to get in touch with them. Keep a list of their phone numbers, email addresses, and any other relevant contact information.
- Medical Details: Keep track of your health insurance information and prescription medications.
- The Legal Documents: Keep all your legal documents safe, such as your Will and trust, as well as any other estate planning documents. Additionally, it is also important to know the location of any deeds and insurance contracts.
- Tax Returns: Make sure you have three years’ worth of tax returns stored.
Make Sure Your Documents Are Safe
When it comes to storing your estate planning documents, you have several options available. For instance, many people choose to keep their Will at home. However, it is essential to take steps to safeguard the document from potential disasters. One effective strategy is to store the Will in a fire- and waterproof safe. You will also want to make sure that someone you trust is aware of its location and has access to the key or lock combination. More importantly, do not hide your Will, as your loved ones may be unable to find it after your passing.
Some other options for storing your critical estate documents include:
- A safe deposit box
- Leaving the documents with an experienced estate planning attorney
- Online storage
- Hard drive or thumb drive
However, if you are using online storage options, such as Dropbox, make sure you keep track of the passwords and that your loved ones know how to access the account. In addition, if your documents are stored on a hard drive or thumb drive, keep the drive in a secure location and not in a desk drawer where it could get lost.
Contact Losavio & DeJean, LLC To Learn More About Estate Planning and How To Keep Your Documents Safe
If you are considering creating an estate plan in Louisiana or want to make sure you are able to keep each piece stored properly, contact Losavio & DeJean, LLC today or call us at 844.977.4611 to go over your questions and concerns.
Our law firm offers a full range of estate planning services that include:
- Wills and trusts
- Power of attorney
- Long-term care planning
- Government benefit planning
- Retirement tax planning
- Estate tax planning
Reach out to us today and let our team help you feel confident about your future.