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Friday, October 13, 2017

Where to look for a loved one's elusive will

BC lawyer Alison Oxtoby recently wrote an article about looking for someone's will. She has obviously run into the same situation that I and many of you readers have encountered - the search for a will that someone said he made but nobody can find. Click here to read Ms Oxtoby's article.

She mentions that she has heard of someone who kept his will in the freezer. In my experience, a lot of people keep them there. It has something to do with believing that if the house burns down, the freezer will still be standing (whether that's true or not, I couldn't say). It's at the point now that when people call me desperately searching for a will, I advise them to check the freezer. Now, don't misunderstand me; I am NOT suggesting this is a good place to keep a will. I do not agree that it's a good place. I'm just saying it's one of those things that some people do.

Every time I sign a will with clients, I have a chat with them about where they are going to keep their wills and the need for someone to know where the will is located. As Ms Oxtoby said in her article, it's not necessary for someone to know the contents of your will while you're alive, but someone needs to know where to find it once you're gone.

If you're one of those people who finds a secret cubby-hole hiding place for your will, maybe think it through a little more carefully. Have you deliberately concealed your will somewhere where you're sure nobody can find it and snoop into your business? If so, that's great while you're alive but the thing is, once you're gone, they still can't find it. If  you've rolled up your will in a shaving cream can or hidden it behind a photo in a frame, you might as well not have a will. Why bother, since nobody can find it when the time comes? Are you under the impression that you are going to have the opportunity and ability to tell someone the location right before you pass away?

Be sensible. If you had to locate important documents, where would you search? That's where you should keep your will. If privacy is an issue while you're alive, think about keeping your will at your lawyer's office or in a bank safe deposit box. At least those are places your executor will search, unlike the inside of the handle of the axe or the underside of the welcome mat.

1 comment:

  1. off topic.. do estate bank accounts carry any service fees? we're currently being charged a monthly fee and it appears its setup as a business account. not sure if this is an oversight on the banks part?


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