Keeping Estate Planning Documents Safe

February 27, 2020

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.

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: 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 explaining how your assets are to be divided after your passing
  • Living Will: This document directs your family and your medical team regarding the care you wish to receive if you become terminally ill
  • Living Trust: A living trust assigns a trustee to manage your assets on behalf of the beneficiary while you are still alive and can be revocable or irrevocable

What is the Best Way to Safeguard Estate Planning Documents?

There was a time when it was common for an elder law lawyer to retain the original drafts of these documents for their clients. This is no longer the case. It is 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 your family members. Always protect the plans you made for you and your loved ones by keeping your essential estate planning documents safe.

Brooklyn Elder Law Lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Handle All Your Estate Planning Needs

If you have questions about what estate planning services are right for you, schedule an appointment with the trusted and experienced Brooklyn elder law lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP. We 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 212-495-8133 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. With offices located in Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York, as well as in Lakewood, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York.