This seems to be a popular question.
I think it is because we are all wanting on-demand, 24/7/365 access to our important documents, data and information from anywhere in the world.
Some have called such storage a "smart vault."
Enter a recent article in US News titled "Passwords and Powers of Attorney: Your Digital Estate Planning Options."
According to the article, when it comes to estate planning there are new companies springing up to meet this demand to gather all the information our heirs will need in one place.
For example, what kind of music would you like played in your final hours of life or at your funeral?
There are several companies that let you create a digital repository of your will, health care directives, funeral wishes, family photos, plans for your pet, desires for your Facebook page, and what you would want included in (or excluded from) your obituary.
You can document your instructions and wishes now so your family can easily access (or share) them when the time comes.
So, what are some first steps?
Talk with your family about your end-of-life wishes, then record your wishes and, finally, make it easy for family members to find them when needed.
Also, you can choose whom you authorize to access specific information and whether you want to share it now or not until after you have passed on.
The goal of these smart vaults?
To make an already difficult time and process as easy as possible for heirs by having this information all in one online place.
Most online sites act like toolkits by providing places to upload wills, trusts, health care directives, powers of attorney and appraisals of your valuable items. In addition, such sites also provide ways to record the location of notarized and signed copies of documents, as well as the contact information for your estate planning attorney.
As with everything in a market economy, charges vary with these services.
In addition to estate planning functions, they all have options for sharing all the aspects of your digital life, from passwords to bank accounts to the message you want sent to your Twitter followers after you have passed away.
All that noted, everyone's situation is different.
Although these smart vault services are useful tools, no online service can replace the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney who understands your specific situation.
In the end, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: US News (December 3, 2015) "Passwords and Powers of Attorney: You're Digital Estate Planning Options"