In my page on your will, I recommend storing it in a safe deposit box. That prompted a fascinating response from Dillona, so fascinating that I wanted to share it with you. Read her explanation of why she does it, and then you can decide for yourself.
You’d be astounded at the number of people who forget they have safe deposit boxes. Or lose the key. Or move without closing it out. Or change banks without changing the SD box. Or forget what they have in it, or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting into it. Finally, in many states, once the state learns that you’re dead, the first thing they do is freeze your assets. I had an aunt whose husband died suddenly (sat down on the bed, said, “I’ve had this horrible headache all day” and died right then and there). My aunt didn’t have a clue where the checkbook was, etc, And everything important, like the will, was in the safe deposit box. It took a month or so before she could get into and get the will. She didn’t have a penny and had to come to my mom for cash in order to keep the bills paid and the kids fed until the whole mess was straightened out. NO, I don’t believe he had a will. He was a brilliant man, but my uncle was an engineer. Need I say more?.
So……..where to keep the will?
Well, this is strange, but I keep mine in the freezer. I vacuum sealed it, put it in ZipLoc bag just for double insurance, and put it in my refrigerator freezer. If I move (which is doubtful), I will empty the freezer and remember the will is in there. If there’s a fire, god forbid, it won’t burn the fridge. Might melt the exterior, but won’t burn the will because it’s surrounded by frozen things that melt. Bugs won’t get to it for the fact that it’s cold in there and vacuumed sealed. About the worst thing that can happen is a power shortage causes the ice cream to melt. OK, that’s why it’s in a plastic ziploc bag. Best of all, it’s easily and readily found. My executor and my neighbor both know that both the will and the living will are in my freezer.
I know this sounds a little like keeping cash under the mattress but…….there’s nothing wrong with THAT idea, either. Sometimes it’s awfully convenient to have an emergency stash of a couple hundred bucks in the house.
Thanks Dillona. As I said, I’m not recommending you do this, but it does make sense in a weird kind of way, doesn’t it? I stand by what I have told you is the most important step in storing your will. You can read it again now, if you’d like.