Anyone in North Dakota who creates a will or an advance medical directive, such as a living will, should take steps to ensure that your important documents are safely stored. If someone needs to access your medical directives, or will need to do so at a later date, you should also make plans to ensure that those people will know where to find them. However, you don’t need to register these documents with any state or private agency. Here’s why.
A will is simply a legal document that contains your choices about your property, who you want to serve as executor over your estate, and other issues. No one is ever obligated to make a last will and testament. If you choose to make a will, you have to create a document that complies with North Dakota law. While the law is very specific on what your document must contain, there is no requirement that you register your document with any government agency.
Your will doesn’t become effective until after you die. When this happens, someone will have to find the document and submit it to a probate court. However, there is no requirement that you submit your will to probate court while you’re still alive. The same is true of a living will.
Your will and living will are important documents. Just like any other important documents, you have to store these safely. A personal safe, bank safe deposit box, or other secure area are good choices, but making sure important people, such as your doctor and executor, have copies can also be beneficial.
You can learn a lot more about wills, living wills, and other estate planning tools at one of our next free seminars on July 23, 24th, and 25th. Contact our office for registration details and directions as space is limited.