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Where should I store my Will?


Is it better to have a safe deposit box at a bank for which one pays an annual fee or a fireproof safe in your house? If the safe is the best option, how does one find a good one? Also, what sort of documents should one store in them?

The less expensive option, unless many years pass, would be the safe deposit box at the bank. The one major drawback of a safe deposit box in most, though not all, states is that if the bank becomes aware of your passing, it will seal the box until it can be opened in the presence of a representative of the state. The reason behind this is that the state wants to make sure you haven't stashed in the box a lot of money or other valuables that you haven't paid taxes on.

The safe in your home is more convenient but can be quite expensive, and should be placed in a spot where any fire will be the least intense. Against an outside wall in an attached garage would be good, compared with a bedroom on the second floor that could easily collapse into the flames below.

The deposit box is probably a better choice. A safe also can keep jewelry and other valuables safe from most intruders. The one thing that does not belong in your safe deposit box is your will. Often, the safe deposit box will be frozen and inaccessible to your family. The best place for an original copy, which is the only one that matters, is in the care of the attorney who drew it.

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