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Where you should keep your Will and Powers of Attorney
Michael E. Cobb
Michael E. Cobb

Where should the original will (and powers of attorney) be stored? Occasionally, lawyers get asked this question by their clients. Our practice is to store them for the client at no charge. They are kept in a fire resistant cabinet. For the past several years, we also scan and save them on the server, which is backed up daily. Although the procedure is more involved, copies of signed wills can be probated. Some clients want to take their originals home or store them with their Bank. Obviously it is up to the client to decide but I would suggest it is a good idea to allow your lawyer to store them. An attorney under a power of attorney (not the lawyer but the person appointed) has the legal right to obtain the original will for the person giving the power of attorney. Storage at home can be risky in the event of fire or flood. Also, some people are not good at storing important documents and if it cannot be found, the legal presumption could be made that it was revoked by being destroyed. Storage in a safety deposit box at a bank is an option but there can be difficulties getting access to them by your executor if the proper arrangements are not made. If you chose this method, make sure you check with the bank as to what they will need before they will grant access to the safety deposit box. Most law offices have a system in place to ensure that only the proper person can get them and at the appropriate time.

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