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What is a safe, accessible, and practical place to store a living trust?

Campbell, CA |

I am looking for suggestions (other than a lawyer's office) as where to store a living trust so that if something sudden happens to us (and only then), our successor can access and execute the trust. I am referring to store a notarized paper copy of the trust.

In this thread http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/is-a-copy-of-a-notarized-living-trust-as-good-as-t-885304.html it sounded like there will be challenges if the successors use a copy which rule out any digital storing methods (your hard drive, an online storage) .

A bank safety box while secure isn't accessible to successors once we are deceased. A home safe is not fireproof and how can we give them the combo-code only after death. Other ideas?

Many thanks in advance. Peaple on Avvo rock.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Actually, the bank safe deposit box is accessible to the successor trustee and is a very good place to store your original documents. Small fireproof home safe's (like Sentry brand) are also good for the purpose. If you only store your original doc's in such a safe, then there's no reason not to give the combo-code to your successor trustee now, so s/he can access it later.

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Benjamin Valdez Platon II

Benjamin Valdez Platon II

Posted

Make sure the bank safe deposit box is rented by the Trust.

Asker

Posted

once i pass away, how can the successors prove they are the successors before they can retrieve the documents?

Benjamin Valdez Platon II

Benjamin Valdez Platon II

Posted

Typically the bank requests a copy of portions of the trust for their own records. Additionally in a well drafted trust there is typically a document known as the Certificate of Trust or Affidavit of Trust. It usually contains the basic Who's who of a trust. Copies of that document are typically accepted for ID purposes.

Posted

I agree with the previous response. You can buy a fireproof safe at many retail stores, such as Home Depot or Lowe's. As far as the combination goes ... you could write a set of instructions detailing any information that your successor would need to know and store that somewhere in your home. Then you could just inform the successor of the location of those instructions. Or you could store those instructions in an encrypted document on your computer or on a removable memory device, providing your successor the necessary information as to its existence and location in the event something happens to you.

The bottom line is that it is really up to you where you store these documents, and how you inform your named successors and executors.

This answer is in response to a general legal question and is intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. Use of this website and its e-mail link does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Mekdsy. Messages with confidential information should not be sent to Attorney Mekdsy via the e-mail link. The information provided in this answer must not be used as a substitute for consulting with an attorney. Brian Mekdsy is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts only.

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Posted

If you use the safe deposit box-just authorize your PR or successor trustee to open the box with an authorized signatory card on file at the bank.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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Benjamin Valdez Platon II

Benjamin Valdez Platon II

Posted

good comment, always investigate the banks procedures, they can make it easy, or difficult even with the proper estate planning doc's.

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