Once you complete the estate planning process with your attorney, that’s it, right? Not quite! The most important step in the estate planning process is securing and safeguarding your documents. After all, if you wrote a will but nobody knows that it exists or is able to locate it, it’s the same as having never written a will at all. How can you safeguard your estate planning documents?
Keep Estate Planning Documents Safe and Organized
Start by organizing all of your estate planning documents in a central location. You should keep the original, signed documents in a safe and protected place that your estate executor will be able to access. Some people choose a safety deposit box in a bank, while others store them in a fireproof and waterproof safe inside of their home. Your attorney and the estate executor should both be aware of where the original copies are located. You should also keep a copy of your estate planning documents with your attorney at Mobley & Brown, LLP in case the original copies cannot be located in the future. You can also create electronic copies and store them digitally as well.
Make Sure Your Loved Ones Know What You Want
While you don’t need to tell everyone in your family where your estate planning documents are located, you should have regular discussions with them to communicate your intentions. This includes information about your power of attorney and your wishes after you are gone. It’s a good idea to include written documents that convey your wishes about things like funeral arrangements, cremation, organ donation and other post-death plans in your estate planning documents. Make sure that family members know where this document is located, as your will might not be read until after your funeral and this information should be easily accessible.
Do I Need to File My Will?
You do not have to file your will in Maryland, but you can choose to file your estate planning documents. Look up your local Register of Wills Office in your jurisdiction of residence and send your will in a sealed envelope. You must write your name, address, social security number and the date of the will on the outside of the inner sealed envelope containing the will. The state charges a $5 fee for every will that is filed.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Your Estate Planning Documents
If you are searching for the right estate planning attorney in Maryland and unsure where to turn, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.