Keeping Your Estate Planning Documents Safe
If you took the time to complete the essential estate planning documents, it is just as important to take appropriate steps to safeguard these crucial legal records. In many cases, if you cannot produce an original document with signatures, the state will not consider copies of these documents to be valid. It is important that your family emergency plan includes a contingency to secure your estate planning documents in the event of a storm, fire or flood.
At Korsinsky & Klein LLP, we can advise you on the details of how to keep your estate planning documents safe. Our attorneys are highly skilled in the complicated area of estate planning law. We provide caring, compassionate services for clients in New York City, including Manhattan and Brooklyn, and New Jersey.
What Is The Best Way To Safeguard Estate Planning Documents?
There was a time when it was common for lawyers to retain the originals of these documents for their clients. This is no longer the case. It is now up to you to safeguard yours and ensure they are safe, protected and readily accessible. We recommend any or all of the following:
- Store estate planning documents in a safe deposit box at your bank
- Store estate planning documents in a fire-proof safe or vault in your home
- Entrust estate planning documents to a family member or close friend for safekeeping
It is also a good idea to download electronic copies of these documents on a zip drive and keep that in a safe as well. You can also send copies to family members. Always protect the plans you made for yourself and your loved ones by keeping your essential estate planning documents safe.
What Estate Planning Documents Are Essential?
You may be unclear as to what documents are essential when it comes to ensuring your estate is secure and your wishes for end-of-life care are clear. Your essential estate planning documents include:
- Advanced medical directive (Health Care Proxy): This document designates a health care agent to make decisions about your care if you become unable to do so for yourself.
- Financial Power of Attorney: This document designates a person you trust to manage your assets either effective immediately or in the event you become incapacitated, depending on the type you choose.
- Last Will and Testament: A detailed list of instructions, this explains how your assets are to be divided after your passing.
- Trust documents: Depending on your estate plan, you may have one or more Trusts. These may be designed to distribute your assets in a way that reduces estate taxes, secures your eligibility for Medicaid or accomplishes other purposes.
Dealing With Lost Or Missing Estate Planning Documents
If you misplaced your estate planning documents, the attorney who drafted them may have copies. If that attorney is no longer in business, it may be time to update your estate plan to fit your current situation.
If you recently lost a loved one and can’t locate their estate plan, talk to our lawyers. We can help you sort through this important issue.
Turn To Us For Help With All Of Your Estate Planning Needs
If you have questions about any aspect of estate planning, please schedule an appointment with our team. We will take the time to discuss your needs, concerns and goals for the future to create a highly customized estate plan that will stand the test of time.
To learn more about our estate planning services, call 212-257-0199 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. With offices located in Brooklyn and Manhattan as well as Lakewood, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout New York City and New Jersey.