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Where to Store Your Idaho Estate Planning Documents

Everyone in Idaho can benefit from having a complete Idaho estate plan that is customized for their specific needs. Our team of Idaho estate planning attorneys have been helping clients for over 70 years consider their own unique personal circumstances and create a plan that will meet their needs. Our experience allows us to provide counsel and advice to each of our clients about their own family circumstances and particular needs.

Our team of Idaho estate planning attorneys consists of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each of our attorneys have earned the highest rankings possible on several legal rating services. These services include AVVO, Martindale and Hubbell, and Justia, and are based on reviews given by other attorneys, judges, and most importantly our current clients.

We are confident that we can help you customize your own estate plan to meet your needs. Once you have an estate plan in place here are three important things you should understand and know about where and how to store your plan documents.

1. Your Last Will and Testament

The first thing to understand about your Last Will and Testament is that it is your confidential and personal property. However, given that in Idaho the original last will and testament must be presented to a court in order for it to be valid and to be properly probated, we most often suggest to our clients that they allow us to store it for them. Our firm utilizes a fireproof storage system that allows us to index and keep our client’s last wills and testaments safe, secure, and readily available when needed.

On occasion we have a client who decides that they want to keep their original last will and testament themselves. When this occurs, we advise and counsel that our client place their last will and testament in a safe and secure location. Many clients will utilize a safety deposit box at a bank or credit union. Other clients will place their last will and testament in a fireproof safe at home. Either of these options is fine so long as their family knows where it is located and can find it easily when it is needed.

2. Your powers of attorney

The second thing to understand is that powers of attorney are slightly different than a last will and testament. Powers of Attorney, which include a Durable Power of Attorney (which covers finances and property) and a Power of Attorney for Health Care (which is used for medical and health care) are utilized while you are alive, where a last will and testament only as utilize after you die. Because your Powers of Attorney may be needed while you are alive we always present and give to our clients their Originals. We create an organized estate planning binder and place the original Powers of Attorney in a pocket in the back with a stamp on them so they can be easily identifiable..

We then instruct our clients that they should take these powers of attorney and have them scanned at the financial institutions they most often use. We also encourage our clients to take them to their personal doctors, and to the local hospitals. This way our client’s information is already presented to and on record with these institutions. This makes it easy for family members who are named as the attorney in fact to be able to utilize the power of attorney to assist our clients when needed.

3. Your Other “Important” Documents

There are other important documents that are also a part of a basic estate plan. These often include the following documents:

  • Titles and Deeds
  • Insurance
  • Prepaid Funeral Contract
  • Instructions to Family Members
  • Mortgages and Debts
  • Bank, Investment and Retirement Accounts

With these documents we usually advise our clients to organize them and place them in the estate planning binder that we have provided for them. This way all the important documents that family members may need are readily available. Keep in mind that there is no magic and how these are organized. The key is that you store them in a place that is safe, secure, and easy for your family to locate and utilize when the documents are needed. Some clients will place these important documents in filing cabinets or in separate binders. Again the key is simply to let your family know where these documents are located.

There have been countless times when we have had clients come in and describe the mess of document they have located and had to sift through when they were trying to assist other family members. They have stated that their goal is to make things much simpler for their own family. Any system of organization that you and your family know about should work.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team Idaho Estate Planning lawyers can help you with any or your needs. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at racine@racinelaw.net. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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