Estate Planning - Do You Know Where Your Original Documents Are Tonight?

Thursday, Aug 13 2015 11:17 AM

Periodically (and unfortunately all too often) we get calls from clients:

“Do you have our original will/LPA/signed living trust documents?”

“No, I’m sorry.”

“Are you sure?

“Yes. We make it a practice not to retain clients’ original documents.”

“Could you just look in your file, to be sure?”

“Gladly. One moment, please… I’m looking at your file. The day you signed all your will / LPA / trust and related estate planning documents, I gave you the originals and a set of copies. All I have is a set of photocopies and a copy of the cover letter I gave you, when you signed everything. In that letter, I suggested that you put the originals in a safe deposit box, and that you keep the set of copies at home. I recommended that you put a note on the copies indicating where you put the originals.

(Nothing drives beneficiary, executors, successor trustees and families crazier than to find the copies but not the originals.)