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where to store will
Old 07-05-2014, 12:30 PM   #1
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where to store will

What is the recommended location to store one's original will? If put in a safe deposit box, is there a risk of it becoming inaccessible upon death? For that reason I've heard not to put the original there, instead put a copy. Since courts want the original, what purpose could a copy serve?
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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I've heard a few things.
- not in the bank deposit box for reasons mentioned above. Safety Deposit box gets locked up by probate - and how do you probate without the will that's inside the locked up box?
- keep a copy with the lawyer who drew it up. My husband was able to get copies of his parents wills when he got legal guardianship of both parents (dementia).
- Give a sealed copy to the executor to be opened upon death. (Turns out his parents had done this as well - as that copy matched the one provided by the lawyers office.)
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:01 PM   #3
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I filled out paperwork at the bank to give a relative access to our safety deposit box in case of an emergency.
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:17 PM   #4
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If there is more than one person listed with access to a safety deposit box, might the bank block access upon the first to die?
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
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If there is more than one person listed with access to a safety deposit box, might the bank block access upon the first to die?
That depends on the state. If the state has no inheritance tax like Tx the survivor can get to the box immediately. You need to ask at your bank branch to see what the local law and procedures are. The only reason to lock up the box is so that the state can audit it for inheritance tax. Of course I also understand that for a fee you can deposit your will in the county clerks office.
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:10 PM   #6
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We left the original with our lawyer and a copy in our den at home. The executor knows about both. When Dad died, the original was in his Safe Deposit Box. With a certificate of death, the bank opened the box and gave us the will.

Later, after probate was granted, the bank inventoried all the box contents in our presence..
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:27 PM   #7
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I filled out paperwork at the bank to give a relative access to our safety deposit box in case of an emergency.
This is what I'm planning to do. Just talked to a banker a few days ago about this very thing.
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:16 PM   #8
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If there is more than one person listed with access to a safety deposit box, might the bank block access upon the first to die?
I guess it depends on the state. When my mother passed I was listed as a signatory on the safe deposit box and had no problems getting to it. Other than I couldn't find the key and had to pay the bank's locksmith ~$100 to drill out the lock and install a new one.
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:26 PM   #9
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Consult with an attorney in your state as to what is best under the laws of that state. Laws on things like the effect of a copy may vary from state to state.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:08 PM   #10
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Leave the original with the attorney who helped you draw it up and let the executor know that fact. Copies in the safety deposit box and on file at home.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:33 PM   #11
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Leave the original with the attorney who helped you draw it up and let the executor know that fact. Copies in the safety deposit box and on file at home.
Doesn't the attorney always have an original? What if your attorney is near retirement?

Hmmm...may have to make a call on Monday. interesting thoughts, thanks.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:08 PM   #12
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DW and I had an estate attorney do ours. He made health directives, power of attorneys, revocable trust agreements, deeds associated with revocable trusts and pour over wills. He recorded the documents in each of the counties where we own property. When I say "record" that means that each county has a complete copy of each document in their record books. The attorney returned the original documents and we placed them in our safe deposit box. The attorney did not keep the original documents. I don't think he keeps copies.

This was all part of the attorney's fee. We can bring the documents to him every three years and he will review for free and make changes if necessary. He will charge for the changes.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:59 PM   #13
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What's the problem. Put several signed copies in multiple locations. Problem solved. Just make sure they are all identical word for word and signed on the same day.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:26 AM   #14
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Doesn't the attorney always have an original? What if your attorney is near retirement?

Hmmm...may have to make a call on Monday. interesting thoughts, thanks.
There is only one original of a will.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:51 AM   #15
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There is only one original of a will.
Bruce
We just signed new wills last week and the attorney had us sign 2 complete sets. She kept one and gave us one so I don't think this is correct.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:17 AM   #16
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It's my understanding that when your bank knows you have expired they lock down everything, including your safety deposit box. I don't even know if this is the law, it might just be CYA on the banks part.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:34 AM   #17
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We just signed new wills last week and the attorney had us sign 2 complete sets. She kept one and gave us one so I don't think this is correct.
I'm sorry, but wills are never executed in duplicate unless it's an attorney that doesn't understand the law. There may be conformed copies or photostatic copies but never duplicate originals. Trusts are often executed in multiple originals but not wills. There are a multitude of problems that can arise if wills are executed in duplicate such as the legal consequences of destroying one and not the other.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:45 AM   #18
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What's the problem. Put several signed copies in multiple locations. Problem solved. Just make sure they are all identical word for word and signed on the same day.
That's what we have done. Copies with the attorney, in our at home files and in top drawers of our dressers.
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:06 AM   #19
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A copy with the attorney, and another in our fireproof safe. Our executor has the combination.
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:33 AM   #20
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A copy with the attorney, and another in our fireproof safe. Our executor has the combination.
Midpack, what safe do you recommend? If it's really heavy, how did you get it in place?
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