Original Copy of a Will
Regarding estate planning, one of the fundamental documents is the last will and testament. It outlines an individual’s wishes regarding the distribution of their assets and properties after passing. One common question arises: “Who keeps the original copy of a will?” In this article, Morgan Legal Group PLLP sheds light on the importance of the original will, the role of different parties, and the proper safekeeping of this crucial document.
The Significance of the Original Will
The original copy of a will holds significant legal value. It is the primary evidence of the testator’s intentions and decisions regarding their estate. Courts and legal authorities rely on the original will to validate its authenticity and enforce the distribution of assets as per the testator’s wishes.
The Role of the Executor
An executor is a person named in the will responsible for carrying out the deceased individual’s wishes. Among their duties is the responsibility to locate and safeguard the original will. Executors play a crucial role in the probate process, which involves validating the will and overseeing the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
Safekeeping by the Testator
While it’s common for the executor to hold the original will, some individuals prefer to keep the original will in a safe place themselves. This can be a safe deposit box, a fireproof safe at home, or with an attorney. However, this approach can present challenges if the will’s location is unknown or accessible to the executor and beneficiaries after the testator’s passing.
The Role of the Attorney
Many individuals choose to entrust their original will to their attorney. Attorneys specializing in estate planning can provide safekeeping services for essential documents, including wills. By keeping the original will in their possession, attorneys ensure that the document is properly preserved and its location is known to the executor and beneficiaries.
Ensuring Access and Transparency
Regardless of who holds the original will, it’s essential to ensure that the document’s location is known to key individuals. The executor should have access to the original will, as well as instructions on how to retrieve it. Transparent communication about the will’s location can prevent delays and confusion during the probate process.
Legal Requirements for Safekeeping
Each jurisdiction may have specific legal requirements for the safekeeping of original wills. It’s important to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. Properly executed and stored wills can help avoid legal disputes and challenges in the future.
Contact Morgan Legal Group PLLP
At Morgan Legal Group PLLP, we understand the importance of safeguarding your last will and testament. Our experienced estate planning attorneys provide comprehensive guidance on will execution, safekeeping, and estate administration. Whether you keep the original will with us or have other preferences, we can tailor our services to meet your needs. Contact us today to ensure the proper handling of your estate planning documents.