A last will and testament is an important legal document that can deal with a significant amount of money. Individuals should make sure that the physical papers that contain the wishes of the deceased are in a secure location.
New Jersey Union County Surrogate James S. LaCorte urged residents to go over their bank's policy on safety deposit boxes in an effort to protect important documents like a last will and testament, New Jersey Today reported.
After many small banks were acquired by larger institutions, older policies regarding safety deposit boxes were thrown out the window. The old practice of family members being able to access three documents from the box of the deceased may not exist for the new organizations, according to the news source.
"Out of state banks are requiring people to acquire a document that is non-existent in the New Jersey Probate Code," LaCorte said. "They have failed to give proper acknowledgement to what has always been the procedure in New Jersey in these times of hardship."
Although a copy or draft of the will may be admitted to the probate if there is accidental destruction or a loss of documents, sufficient evidence must be provided.