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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Where to Put My Will?

Put it in a safe place where the executor named in the will may find it when it is needed.

Many people believe the best place for their will is in a safety deposit box or deposited with the county clerk or locked in their desk drawer.

A safety deposit box may not be accessible by the executor. If the executor is set up as a registered user on the safety deposit box account and has access to a key, then this may be a good option. Otherwise banks will not allow entrance to a safety deposit box by someone who is not registered on the account without a court order.

Depositing a will with the county clerk may be a good option. The name and address of the person listed in the will as the executor of the estate should be listed with the county as a contact person in the event of the testator’s death. The county will receive and keep the will on the payment of a $5 fee and the county clerk will issue a certificate of deposit. A later will can be admitted for probate on proof that the later will is the last will and testament of the testator. The necessity for proof of a later will can be avoided if the testator remembers to deposit it with the county as the last will, replacing the previous will. This service provided by the county clerk is for residents of the county only.

A will should be safeguarded; it is for the testator’s eyes only. If a desk drawer is considered to be a secure location, it may be a logical storage place for the will. The maker of the will has to consider the will’s safekeeping up until the time it will be needed. Safekeeping during illnesses, natural disasters and other eventualities must be considered. The executor must be able to gain access to the desk when the will is needed. Will a desk drawer pass the test in these circumstances?

Each person must consider their own special circumstances in deciding where the will is stored.

Lucy Hicks Anderson, PLLC assists clients all over the world with legal matters originating in Texas, including Estate Planning, Elder Law and Real Estate matters.

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