Where to Store Your Will?
After you've created a will, the next decision is where to store the will so that your executor can easily find the original document when needed. Your executor will need the original will to handle your affairs efficiently. Therefore, a will should be stored in a safe and accessible place, and the executor should know exactly where it is kept. Not being able to locate the original copy of your will can cause unnecessary stress to your beneficiaries, both emotionally and financially. Below are ways to store the original of your last will and testament so that it is accessible to your executor.
Readily Accessible Places
The most logical place for your estate planning documents is in your home or home office among other important documents. Make sure the selected location is protected from fire and floods. A fire- and water-proof safe is ideal, but if you do decide to use a safe, make sure someone you know and trust has the lock combination.
If you do not have a safe, then at a minimum, keep the documents on a high shelf to protect them in the event of flooding. Resist the temptation to hide your will. People have been known to place their estate planning documents under mattresses, inside books, and even wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator. This is not a good idea. If no one can find your will during your lifetime, it's not likely they're going to be able to do so after your death either. It is important that you tell your executor and at least one or two other people where your original will is located.
Safe Deposit Box
Many individuals believe the safest place to store a will is a safe deposit box. However, this can be problematic in North Carolina. Simply having a key does not permit an individual to access the contents of a decedent’s safe-deposit box. An official of the clerk of superior court might be required to be present for the opening of a safe-deposit box.