McBrien & Kane
The official blog of McBrien & Kane, a Lebanon, Tennessee law office.
IN TENNESSEE, WHERE DO I PUT MY WILL FOR SAFE KEEPING?
WHO DO I GIVE A COPY OF MY WILL TO?
I answer these questions everyday by telling my
My Last Will & Testament, along with my Powers of Attorney and my Living Will, are in my desk drawer, in my office.
They are not under lock and key. And I have told many people where they are located.
They are not recorded at the Wilson County Register’s Office and I have not given a copy of them to anybody.
I find, that most people, however, place their Last Will and Testament and other important legal documents in lock boxes or safety deposit boxes at their local bank. Problem is, if you pass away, your family may not be able to gain access to those areas without Court Orders.
It can be a huge problem and sometimes a costly problem. As an attorney, I am required, at least at first, to present an Original Will to the Judge. If the family can not get their hands on the original Will, we have a problem even before the probate process starts.
For that reason – my advice is to keep the Original Will in an easy to find, accessible location.
If you are concerned that someone will find your Will and be upset by it or worst yet, destroy it, then we can discuss other options.
For the rest of us, though, keep it simple.
Another question I am asked is - who should you give copies of the Will to.
We will make you as many copies as you need. However, giving out too many copies causes a problem should you ever change your Will; because, in some cases, copies of old Wills have been brought to court in the hopes of having them probated.
I recently represented a person in a case like this. Heirs in an old Will attempted to probate a copy of the decedent’s former Will. My client (the rightful heir) was successful at both the trial level and appellate level, however, had the decedent not given out so many copies of the previous Will, this protracted litigation may have been avoided.