During an estate planning meeting, we begin with a thorough review of the client’s  assets and liabilities; what is to become of these assets after death or incapacity; who are the family members and who they want to do what; and, of course, taxes.  Along with a number of other issues, estate planning should be specific to the client’s needs and circumstances.

However, questions that seems so simple are often the ones that seems to stump a number of clients, and sadly, sometimes the client’s family–“Where will you keep your original estate documents, and how will your family members or the people who need these documents find them when they are needed?”

If the client keeps the documents in a safe deposit box, the agents who hold any powers of attorney  must be legally able to access the box in order to access the original documents they need to proform their duties.  Go to the bank and find out exactly what is needed to give such persons the necessary access.  If it’s a fireproof box in your home, be sure the necessary people have access to your home and the box.  This practical last step of securing your original documents is the only way to be sure all the effort you have gone to and paid for will be able to be accessed and utilized as you intended.

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