Safe deposit boxes have been the go-to for generations for the safekeeping of important documents and property. Safe deposit boxes truly are a great place to keep many important and valuable things. But when it comes to choosing a place to keep your original Will, your safe deposit box is the worst choice.
When a person dies, the bank will freeze that safe deposit box until a person has been appointed as personal representative of the estate. If you have a Will, that original Will must be produced and filed with the state for someone to be appointed as personal representative. This could potentially turn into a time-consuming, confusing and expensive Catch-22 situation. The original Will is needed for a personal representative to be appointed, but a personal representative must be appointed to get the original Will from the safe deposit box.
If you choose to take your original Will after signing, pick a safe location to keep it, other than your safe deposit box, and make sure others know where it is and how to access it when you are gone. A better alternative is to let your attorney keep your original Will. Most attorneys who draft Wills will offer this service. Our office will safeguard your Will free of charge - just let your family know we have it.