How to Store Your Documents

End of Life Management Toolkit #8 | by Team Passare and Y Colaborative

7. How to Copy and Store Your Documents Securely:
Using Safe Deposit Boxes or Home Safes

Make at least one complete copy of each of your End of Life planning documents. Store them in a secure location other than your home, such as a safe deposit box. Always date each copy you create in order to quickly and easily identify the most current copy of the document.

A safe deposit box is a reliable storage option for your Will, AHD, Estate Plan, or other important documents. A safe deposit box can also hold jewels or other important possessions that you wish to pass on to your beneficiary or beneficiaries. Be sure to consider any safe deposit restrictions in your state. For example, be sure that your state law does not require banks to seal your safe deposit box upon your death. Also, consider who has access to your safe deposit box. Be certain that your Power of Attorney, executor, and/or survivors know of its location and have access to the key. A court order is usually needed to retrieve a safe deposit box after the death of its holder.

You can also choose to keep your End of Life planning documents in a home safe. According to a recent publication of Consumer Reports, a home safe that is fire, water, or theft-protected is available at most retail home improvement stores for a nominal cost.

Your employer or lawyer may safely store your life insurance records. If you did not receive life insurance from your employer, or you do not hire a lawyer, then a home safe is a secure alternative to a safe deposit box.

Now, take a few minutes to answer these questions:
  1. Where will you store your important paper documents?
  2. If you want to store your documents in a safety deposit box, does your state require your bank to seal your safe deposit box upon your death?
  3. Have you informed your Power of Attorney, executor, or beneficiaries of your stored documents’ location? If not, when and how will you let them know this information?
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