Where Should I Keep my Will? Does it Need to Be Filed Anywhere?

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There is no requirement that a Last Will and Testament be recorded anywhere once it is made to be effective. Instead, should a probate estate need to be opened upon your death, that is the time when the Will would need to be filed with the probate court in the county where you resided when you died.

Generally, I recommend that a client keep his Will in a fire safe in his home, and ensure that loved ones know where it is and can access when the client passes away.

It is never a good idea to keep the Will in a safety deposit box in the client’s name only because an estate would need to be opened to get access to the box.  Without the Will, the court would not know who has been named executor, and hence, has authority to administer the estate, which would create the extra headache an expense of an administrator appointment and issuance of a bond. Suffice it to say that this is something you wish to avoid.

If you do not have loved ones that you trust, you have the option of deposited your Will with your county probate court for safe keeping.  The cost in Cuyahoga County is $25.00. If you wish to modify your Will in the future, you will want to pick up the old Will with probate court, which can create additional work. However, for some individuals without trusted family members or friends, it can be the best option.

For more information on the Last Will and Testament, contact a Cleveland Will Lawyer.