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Storage is an important estate planning step

Many New Jersey residents spend a significant amount of time refining their estate plan to ensure that their assets are distributed to their chosen heirs. Once that process is complete, a sense of relief often follows. It is important to understand, however, that even the most thorough estate planning package is worthless if one's heirs are unable to access the proper documents when the time comes.  

Without proper storage, estate planning documents are effectively worthless. While it seems like a simple step, many people fail to store their documents in a manner that makes them easy to locate and put to use. This can be especially challenging for those who draft estate paperwork while they are still relatively young. Multiples moves, divorce and catastrophes such as flood or fire can all result in the loss of these essential documents.

One of the best ways to ensure that estate planning documents are properly stored is to work with an estate planning attorney. That professional will retain copies of all documents and can provide those documents to the proper heirs when the time comes. Another means of storing estate paperwork is to scan each page of every document, and then save those files to some type of removable storage.

Some New Jersey residents are comfortable storing their estate planning documents on a cloud-based service. Others prefer to save the files to a disk or removable hard drive. Files should never be stored solely on a computer's hard drive, as damage to that equipment could result in the loss of files. Regardless of how these documents are stored, loved ones should be told where to find them when the time comes.

Source: yumasun.com, "Estate Planning: Safeguarding original copies is critical", Larry Deason, June 8, 2015

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