Estate Planning Document Storage In The Digital Age

There are certain things that can result in a person’s wishes regarding their estate not being followed after they die, even if they have an estate plan.

One is if the estate planning mechanisms they have set up don’t match up with their goals and desires. An estate planning mechanism not being set up right in the first place or an estate plan not being updated after a major life event are a couple of examples of things that can lead to such a mismatch. Estate planning lawyers can assist individuals with aligning their estate planning documents with their wishes/goals, both when it comes to the formation of such documents and the updating of such documents.

Another thing that could endanger a deceased person’s wishes regarding their estate being met is if the estate planning documents they formed get lost or destroyed or are unable to be found by the right people after the person’s death.

So, finding a good and safe place to store estate planning documents can be important for an individual. Digital technologies have opened up some new options on this front.

Such technologies have created a wide range of digital storage capabilities when it comes to documents. These capabilities have led to the development of “digital safe deposit boxes” for important documents, such as estate planning documents. For example, as a recent USA today article noted, Fidelity Investments recently launched an online digital safe deposit box service.

One wonders how common storing estate planning documents in digital safe deposit boxes will become in upcoming years. When it comes to any estate document storage mechanism, there are many important matters to consider, including how safe documents are in that storage mechanism, how easy it is to access stored documents and who has access to stored documents. So, it will be worth keeping an eye on whether any particular issues come up regarding these matters when it comes to digital safety deposit boxes in the future and, if they do, what measures are taken to address the issues.

Source: USA Today, “Safe-deposit boxes go virtual with free FidSafe service,” Russ Wiles, June 17, 2016

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