Storage of Documents
Each person can have only one original will. Accordingly, it is important that your will be stored in a place that assures that this document will not be lost, will be safe from fire and accident and will be readily available when needed. As a free service to our clients, we offer storage in fireproof filing cabinets located at the firm. If a client elects to keep his or her will at the firm, that client is free to remove the will at any time merely by contacting the firm during normal business hours.
If you execute a separate trust agreement (called an “inter vivos trust,” a “living trust,” a “revocable trust” or one of a variety of “irrevocable trusts”), you will sign, at minimum, two originals of the agreement. Again, you are free to store an original in our fireproof filing cabinets.
Advance Health-Care Directives
If you execute an advance health-care directive (sometimes called a “living will”), you will sign two originals. These originals are distributed with two goals in mind: preservation of the instrument and assurance of its availability if it is needed. Again, to achieve these goals, you are free to leave one original with us. You should keep one handy at home (not in a safe deposit box), and provide copies to anyone whom you deem appropriate.
Powers of Attorney
If you sign powers of attorney, you will usually sign two originals. Multiple originals of the power of attorney are desirable because your agent (or “attorney-in-fact”) may have to surrender an original to a bank or to a person with whom your agent conducts your business. If you wish, we will gladly store one original for you. Should you require more than two original powers of attorney, let us know before your appointment for signing these documents and we can prepare additional originals for you.
An increasing number of clients are electing to nominate someone to be responsible for their post-death arrangements. If you wish to have such a document, entitled “Custodian of Remains,” prepared, you will sign one or two originals depending upon your circumstances and where you intend to store these documents.
We will provide you with copies of all documents that you sign. You should review the documents periodically to ensure they still reflect your wishes in light of any changes in your family or financial situation. If a change in any of the documents becomes necessary or advisable, please call your lawyer to discuss it.