Storage of Wills

A significant concern many people have following execution of their Last Will and Testament is the matter of storage. As your Will is an important legal document, it should be kept in a secure location to which only you and, if you so choose, those closest to you have access.

It is generally recommended that you retain both your original Will and only as many copies thereof as you feel comfortable making. For example, most clients choose to keep their original, and make copies to give to their spouse, parents or children. Probably the most common place to store an original Will is in the client’s safe deposit box, but a Will may also be kept in a personal safe or other home location. If storing an original Will at home, however, you must keep in mind considerations of fire safety, burglary, and natural disasters. Always do your very best to ensure the security of your document if you are storing it in a residential location.

For some attorneys, it is common practice to give the client the option of storing the original of his or her Will at the attorney’s office, in a location such as a fire-proof safe. Much consideration should go into such arrangements, however, including cost of storage, availability of storage space, and liability issues. If you do choose to leave your original with an attorney, it is important to ensure that your attorney is consistently given updated addresses and other contact information for both yourself and the individual(s) named as your executor. Also, the clerks of some Texas counties do allow Wills to be stored at the clerk’s office, often for a nominal fee. For instance, you may file your Will with the Harris County Clerk’s office for safekeeping for $5.

Regardless of where you choose to store your Last Will and Testament, it is imperative to tell your executor, spouse, children, and/or other loved ones where it is located. Remember that a Will that cannot be found is the equivalent of no Will being made at all. We too often see instances where a child knows a deceased parent had executed a Will during life, but that Will or a copy thereof could simply not be located at death. In these situations, the deceased’s personal wishes for the distribution of his or her property must unfortunately yield to Texas’ intestacy laws, which may or may not follow what the decedent would have wanted. If you have any questions with regard to storage of a Last Will and Testament or other estate planning documents, please give the Estate Planning attorneys at Garg & Associates a call today.

We invite you to contact us for a consultation. Call Garg & Associates, PC at 281-362-2865 or complete our contact form.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
Serving The Woodlands, Spring, Houston, Conroe, Kingwood, Tomball, Cypress, Huntsville, Cleveland, Stafford, Montgomery County, Harris County, West Oaks, Memorial, Sugar
Land, River Oaks, Alief, Stafford, Missouri City, and Southwest Houston Texas.