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Make Probate Easier by Making a Will Accessible

Dec. 6, 2017

In the days following a person’s death, family members and loved ones can be suffering with immense grief and sadness. During such a difficult time, any task that creates contention or confusion can make the situation that much more upsetting.

This is why it is crucial that people take steps to ensure their will is accessible. If loved ones cannot find a will, or if there are disputes regarding the validity of the will, then the probate process that follows could be far more painful than it needs to be. In this post, we will discuss some tips to protect your loved ones from the difficulties of trying to find a will.

  1. Have One Version of Your Will: If there are multiple versions of your will, the courts will need to decide which version is valid. This decision may or may not align with your intentions, so it is generally best to have only one version of a will to avoid confusion. As such, you should take care to properly change or revoke a will.

  2. Tell at Least One Person Where Your Will Is: You don’t need to discuss your estate plans at length or even show others your will, but telling a trusted party where to find a will can be crucial. This party could be your attorney, your spouse or the person you name as the executor of your estate. If a will can be easily located, then there is less opportunity for battles to erupt.

  3. Think About Access Restrictions: Keeping your will — or just a copy of your will — in a safe space is critical in preserving its validity. However, you want to be sure that someone can get to it when the time comes. Think about how you can provide directions to access the document. This might include lock combinations, addresses or login information.

Easing the stress of probate for your loved ones can be a valuable gift, and you can do this by taking some basic steps like making your will accessible.

If you have questions or concerns about your will or any other element of an estate plan, then it can be a good idea to consult an attorney who can provide the guidance you need.