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How many copies of your will should you have?

It is incredibly important for your loved ones to be able to locate your will after your death. This becomes tricky because ideally, you should update your will once a year or so. People's lives change, and you may come into more money or have another child, which impacts how you want to divide your assets upon death. 

Every time you want to update your estate planning documents, you should go through the proper channels. Handwriting changes you want to make in the margins of the papers will not hold up in court. You should see an attorney every time you want to change your will, and you should create at least three copies to store in various locations. 

With your lawyer

The latest copy of your will should go to your attorney. That way if the other copies end up missing or destroyed, your lawyer still has some backups. Additionally, you may want to give a copy to whomever you make the executor of your estate because this individual will need to locate your will most immediately after death. 

In a safe deposit box

It can also help to keep one copy for safekeeping in a bank's safe deposit box. Most legal professionals recommend giving a loved one access to the box, too. Otherwise, if you die, then your family members and friends will have to through legal channels to access it. 

In your home

Finally, you want to have one copy readily accessible in your house. You should keep the documents in a secure box that will remain safe in the event of a fire or flood. This makes it easy for you to review your will from time to time to determine if you need to update it. If you will keep a copy in your home, then you need to make sure to inform the beneficiaries and executors of the location. 

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