When a person creates a will, it is essential to keep the original document safe and secure. But who is responsible for holding onto it?
The executor of the will is typically responsible for keeping the original copy. This person is appointed by the testator, the person who created the will, and is responsible for carrying out their wishes after they pass away. The executor is legally bound to ensure the will is executed as written and keeping the original copy is part of that responsibility.
In some cases, the lawyer who helped create the will may keep the original copy. This is more likely to happen if the testator used a lawyer to create the will and did not appoint an executor. In this case, the lawyer acts as the executor and will keep the original document safe until it is needed.
The Probate Court
After a person passes away, their will must be submitted to probate court to determine its validity. At this time, the original copy of the will may be submitted to the court and kept on file. However, it is important to note that the court does not keep the original copy indefinitely and will return it to the executor or lawyer once the probate process is complete.
Regardless of who keeps the original copy of the will, it is essential that it is stored securely. Some options for safe storage include:
Safe Deposit Box
A safe deposit box at a bank or financial institution is a popular choice for storing important documents like wills. This option provides added security and protection against theft or damage.
A fireproof safe in the home is another option for storing important documents. While not as secure as a safe deposit box, it can provide protection against damage from fire or water.
Some people choose to store important documents online using a secure cloud-based storage service. While convenient, it is essential to ensure the service is secure and reliable to avoid the risk of data breaches.
Keeping the original copy of a will safe and secure is essential to ensure the testator’s wishes are carried out after they pass away. Whether it is kept by the executor, lawyer, or probate court, it is important to choose a secure storage option to protect the document from damage or theft.