Question: I made a Will, now what do I do with it? Where should I keep it and who should I tell about it?
Answer: You may have the best drafted, most well thought out Last Will and Testament, but it will be useless if no one can find it. There is no central database for Wills or estate plans. This means that the only way your loved ones will know about your Will and where to find it is if you tell them!
First, you should put your original Will and other estate planning documents in a safe place, like a safe deposit box. Tell the appropriate people that you have an estate plan and it can be located in your safe deposit box. You probably want to tell your spouse, children, parents or whoever would be the person searching for your estate plan should something happen to you. We also suggest making copies of your Will and other estate planning documents and giving them to person who you have picked to be responsible for administering your estate (your personal representative). Alternatively, you can scan the documents to your computer and email them to trusted people, or put the documents on a CD and give the CD to trusted people. This is an important step, not only with your Will, but also if you have healthcare directives or powers of attorney. If you created a Healthcare Power of Attorney, make sure you give a copy to the person you designated as your healthcare agent. That way the person knows they have been nominated as your healthcare agent, and know where to find the document giving them authority to make decisions if there is an emergency situation. The same is true if you created a Financial Power of Attorney. By making sure your loved ones know your wishes or how to access them now, you can save them the stress and heartache of trying to find them during a difficult situation.