Resources & Insights

Practical Tips On Organizing Your Will

Congratulations, you have executed your will and powers of attorney (the documents).

The following practical issues should be considered in maximizing the use of the documents;

1. Storage and access of the documents.

Many law firms provide safe storage of the original documents. If you choose to leave the original documents with a law firm you should advise the executor and powers of attorney that you have prepared the documents and that they should contact the law firm if anything happens to you.

Storing the original documents in a safety deposit box can be a challenge for the executors/powers of attorney to obtain access to the safety deposit box after your death, prior to probate.

If you are wishing to keep the original documents in your possession you should consider purchasing a home safe which is fire and water proof.

Wherever the documents are stored the named attorney and executors should be advised of the existence of the documents, location and have instructions how to access the documents.

It is not advisable to provide the named attorneys with an original copy of the powers of attorney.

Although not required, it may be prudent to have a general discussion with the beneficiaries of the contents of your will in order to minimize challenges to the will or claims against your estate following your death.

2. Considering the executor.

You should compile a list of your assets, liabilities your various accounts and the important contacts in your life (e.g. lawyer, accountant, financial advisor) and keeping the list of contacts up to date and safely stored.

3. Considering your important contacts.

You should inform your important contacts (e.g. accountant, financial advisor) of the existence of the new documents.

4. Review your documents periodically.

It is important to review the documents on a regular basis to ensure that the documents reflect your current family status, financial situation and overall wishes.

Written by Barrie Hayes