Monday, February 12, 2018
When Glenn Ruffenach had a close relative ask him to store a few boxes to help accommodate a move, he was happy to acquiesce. The boxes appeared fairly innocuous, mostly containing every-day household items. Unfortunately, Ruffenach’s relative passed away quite suddenly and the family did not know if she had a will or where it might be. He ended up digging through those boxes and to everyone’s relief, found the will.
Stories like this one are all too common. Clients go through a lengthy process to create a suitable estate plan and then lose the pertinent documentation. Ruffenach suggests asking yourself: “Where is your current estate plan and associated documents? In a drawer? A closet? The basement? A safe-deposit box? Your lawyer’s office? Does your spouse or partner know where the paperwork is, and does she/he have access to it?” Wherever it may be, take the time now to put your estate planning documents in a place where people can find it and assemble the information required to put the plan into effect; your survivors will be incredibly grateful.
See Glenn Ruffenach, The Biggest Estate-Plan Mistake: Losing It, The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2018.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.