The U.S. Wills Registry is an online service that offers to keep track of the location and holder of a will.
Would you use this service? As reported by the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in a recent article titled "New Service to Track Location Of A Will," the new U.S. Will Registry now allows people to register their wills for free.
When the testator passes away, family members can present a death certificate and learn the location of the will.
Many people neglect to tell loved ones where their wills are located. Often this is out of fear that if someone knows the location of a will, they might look at it and find out its contents.
Unfortunately, this leads to a very common situation where the family of the deceased cannot find the will. This creates unnecessary probate problems.
There are several solutions to this.
You can make sure that someone with no expectations of an inheritance from you knows where your will is located and that your family knows who that person is.
An estate attorney is an excellent choice for this, by the way.
You can also let your family know the general details of your will and thus you will no longer have reason to hide its location.
However, these alternative solutions are not always satisfactory.
Other countries have solved the issue by creating national registries for wills. Until now, the United States has had no such registry.
What is your plan? This is a practical dilemma you should more than just consider.
Contact an experienced estate planning attorney for advice.