Go back to news + community

Estate Planning, Radio/Media

Storing Your Estate Planning Documents

November 03, 2021 by Colin Flannigan

Associate Colin Flannigan regularly advises clients in the practice areas of wills, trusts, estate and incapacity planning, estate administration, residential and commercial real estate, property matters, corporate transactions and business law.

Once you have your estate planning documents finalized and you have the hardcopy in your hand, now what?  People often ask, where should I store these?  At home? A safety deposit box?  Colin discusses in this episode of Legal Matters. 


Some people wonder where they should store their original estate planning documents and who should get a copy?

These are very important documents, so they need to be kept in a safe place. 

  • If you are going to keep them at home in a vault make sure that it's fireproof and waterproof. 
  • If you keep your documents in your safety deposit box, make sure you get an extra notarized copy. If necessary, someone else can access the safety deposit box, such as your executive having the notarized copy of your Will.

Most people end up keeping their documents with their lawyers. Lawyers have ethical obligations on how to keep these documents, such as what kind of vault they need to be kept in.

No matter where you keep your documents, make sure an updated Wills notice is filed so that the executor can show that this was the last Will.

If you want to decide when and who should get a copy of your documents, it is important to understand the balance between privacy and transparency. There is no "one-size-fits-all" or whether or not you should send copies of your documents to everyone. It is important that you have this discussion with your lawyer to make sure that you make the decision that is best and right for you.