Digital document archives are becoming more popular in estate planning. Digital document archives involve storing different important documents — like legal, health care and financial documents — in the digital cloud. This way, family members can easily find the documents following your death.
Some attorneys worry that internet-based cloud computing sites will create more confusion than organization for the loved ones we leave behind. They say that the cloud storage strategies might not leave the clearest picture for heirs with regard to our wishes for the distribution of our assets.
However, it is not uncommon for heirs to have a hard time finding documents following a loved one’s passing. It is not uncommon for it to take months to locate estate planning documents, and sometimes, it even takes years. For some, digital vaults that keep important documents like trusts, wills and medical directives are a helpful solution in this regard.
One of the dangers of digital vaults is the fact that a lot of these cloud-based storage services are start-up companies. This means that there is a higher likelihood that they will go out of business and the documents will no longer be accessible. At the moment, there are no life-planning digital storage services that have been around for decades, so consumers need to be careful when selecting which new firm to use.
In terms of safety, there is no equivalent to keeping one’s hard documents in a bank safety deposit box. However, having a digital copy of your estate planning documents in the cloud may not be a bad idea, if it is in addition to having your hard copies well-organized and easy to find. By speaking with a Florida estate planning attorney, individuals can assess whether cloud storage is right for them. They can also assess different strategies to ensure their documents will not get lost in the shuffle after they have died.
Source: CNBC, “Is a digital last will and testament right for you?,” Constance Gustke, Oct. 19, 2015