Where Should You Keep Your Will?

Where Should You Keep Your Will?

Planning your estate takes a considerable amount of time and effort.

First, you must inventory what you own and decide how to divide your assets among your loved ones.

Then you meet with your advisers—attorney, accountant, trust officer, insurance agent—to formalize your plans.

Because you are conscientious, you review your estate plan regularly, keeping up with changes in family circumstances, your personal finances and the tax laws. When it becomes necessary, you revise your plans. Everything dotted to the “i” and crossed to the “t.”

Or so you believe.

But despite your clear intentions and your careful planning, your family could still wind up spending a great deal of time and money trying to see that your wishes are carried out—unless you take two simple, but very important, steps.

The first step is to provide for the safekeeping of your will.

Should you keep the original at home? There is always the possibility that it might be unintentionally destroyed or thrown away with other papers by mistake.

Put it in your safe deposit box? There may be some legal proceedings involved in opening the box after your death that could make immediate access difficult.

What about your attorney’s office? If he or she is a single practitioner, there are risks: The attorney could die or move away.

A law firm may be willing to hold your will, but you must remember to retrieve it if you end the relationship and go elsewhere.

If you name a trust institution to serve as an executor, you can deposit the original copy with the institution, keeping unsigned copies with your attorney and in your personal records for future reference.

The second step

Create a document locator, a detailed list that gives your family access to all the information they will need to see that your estate plan is carried out. The locator should include the names, addresses and phone numbers of all the important financial players in your life. You also will want to include information about your debts. Credit card issuers and card numbers and mortgage, auto and other loans should be noted as well.

Be sure to specify the location of your will and other important documents (tax returns, Social Security information, business agreements . . . estate deeds). Note where your safe deposit box is and who has access to it. Provide an inventory of its contents.

Give directions as to where you keep investment records, with names and addresses of all the financial institutions with which you have savings, checking or investment accounts. This kind of information should be particularly detailed. You should spell out the type of investment that you hold, the account numbers, the names on the account, and the dates on which the accounts were opened. Specify where you keep the account statements, passbooks and securities certificates.

The document locator is also the place to indicate who has spare keys to the house or car and to give other information of that kind. Be sure to remind your survivors to call your employer so that the benefits department can get the proper paperwork started.

You also may want to attach a letter to the document locator specifying your wishes as to funeral and burial arrangements.

Be sure that you have made multiple copies of your document locator. A copy should be given to your executor and appropriate family members. You may want to keep one in your safe deposit box as well.

Finally, remember to update the document locator once a year to ensure its accuracy.

 

We hope you found this article about “Where Should You Keep Your Will?” helpful.  If you have questions or need expert tax or family office advice that’s refreshingly objective (we never sell investments), please contact us or visit our Family office page  or our website at www.GROCO.com.  Unfortunately, we no longer give advice to other tax professionals gratis.

To receive our free newsletter, contact us here.

Subscribe our YouTube Channel for more updates.

Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of GROCO.com.  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.

 

Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio

 

 

GROCO.com is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.

 

American-Dreams-Show-Accounting-firm-in-ca-cpa-tax-advisors-groco-alan-olsen

The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business.

Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most.

They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more..

American Dreams discusses many topics from some of the world’s most successful individuals about their secrets to life’s success. Topics from guest have included:

Creating purpose in life / Building a foundation for their life / Solving problems / Finding fulfillment through philanthropy and service / Becoming self-reliant / Enhancing effective leadership / Balancing family and work…

Untitled_Artwork copy 4

MyPaths.com (Also sponsored by GROCO) provides free access to content and world-class entrepreneurs, influencers and thought leaders’ personal success stories. To help you find your path in life to true, sustainable success & happiness.  It’s mission statement:

In an increasingly complex and difficult world, we hope to help you find your personal path in life and build a strong foundation by learning how others found success and happiness. True and sustainable success and happiness are different for each one of us but possible, often despite significant challenges.

Our mission at MyPaths.com is to provide resources and firsthand accounts of how others found their paths in life, so you can do the same.

Posted in
Tom Wheelwright Talks Tax Free Wealth

Tom Wheelwright Talks Tax Free Wealth

Tom Wheelwright sits down with Alan Olsen, Host of the American Dreams show to discuss tax free wealth. Transcript: Alan Olsen Welcome to America Dreams. My guest today is Tom wheelwright CPA, Tom, welcome to today’s show. Tom Wheelwright Thanks, Alan. It’s really always good to be with you. Alan Olsen I am really excited…

5 Best and Worst States for Wealthy Retirees

5 Best and Worst States for Wealthy Retirees

Determining The Best & Worst States for Wealthy Retirees Can be Subjective Retirement marks a significant phase in life, offering a new world of opportunities and choices. One critical decision for affluent retirees is selecting the right state to enjoy their golden years. In this post, we’ll explore the 5 best and worst states for…

Building Extraordinary Family Legacy 101

Family Legacy 101

The family “Legacy Builder” conference was a huge success!  The next conference will be in mid-May… This was the inaugural “how to” strategically build a family legacy event. On January 25, 2024, single and multi-family offices and high-net-worth individuals from around the world learned how to create a family legacy. Legacy Builder guests shared examples…

Chris Maxson Ignites Fireplace Innovation

Chris Maxson Ignites Fireplace Innovation

Chris Maxson, owner of Acucraft Fireplace Systems and Managing Partner, Maxson family’s business ventures discusses igniting innovation in the fireplace industry with Alan Olsen. Below are some of the key aspects of Chris Maxson’s influence on the fireplace industry and his unique approach with Acucraft Fireplace Systems. They indicate the rich legacy and innovation themes discussed.…