How To Store Wills and Powers of Attorney

 In Wills, Estates, Trusts

The storage of Wills and Powers of Attorney are often overlooked as part of the estate planning process. It is crucial that clients keep these documents in a safe and secure place.

When deciding how to best store and protect these documents, clients may want to consider the following:

  1. Ensure that there is no uncertainty with respect to the most recent versions of the Will and Powers of Attorney.
  2. To protect the private information within the Will and Powers of Attorney, avoid keeping copies of these documents in the possession of others (who do not have authorization).
  3. To avoid the misplacement of the Will and Powers of Attorney, trusted individuals should have advance knowledge of their location.

The Storage of Wills

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Since there is only one original Will, clients often decide to leave it with their lawyer. A lawyer will ensure that it is kept in a safe and secure place, as per the guidelines outlined by the Law Society of Ontario. As a result, the Will remains confidential and access to it will be restricted.

The Storage of Powers of Attorney for Property
A Power of Attorney for Property is a document that allows an Attorney (i.e. the individual(s) appointed) to manage assets on behalf of the owner. Given its powerful nature, originals are not usually kept in an accessible place. Instead, clients often decide to leave originals with their lawyer.

The Storage of Powers of Attorney for Personal Care
Many clients leave an original Power of Attorney for Personal Care in an accessible place to ensure it is readily available to address medical concerns. In addition, clients often decide to leave one original with their Attorney (i.e. the individual(s) appointed), and other originals with their lawyer.

For more information about the storage of Wills and Powers of Attorney or the estate planning process, contact the experts at Brown Beattie O’Donovan LLP.

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