There are some clear benefits to storing your will and documents online. You and your spouse (or other authorized people) can access them anytime, from anywhere. We are used to putting our lives online. However, there are also some downsides to consider before doing so, according to a helpful article from CNBC titled “Here’s what you need to know before storing your will online.”
It’s good to have all your important documents in one place. Make sure that the people who will need access, such as executors, know that you’ve done so or the cloud storage may well be pointless.
Online storage can also facilitate family conversations about estate planning. Even tech savvy adult children who scoff at parents who don’t engage in social media, will be impressed by a decision to go digital.
However, there are pitfalls.
The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act allows those who are appointed as fiduciaries to access some digital assets in the 45 states (and D.C.) where the law is in place, according to the Uniform Law Commission. ULC is a state-supported organization that brings uniform laws to different jurisdictions.
However, unless you give full access to your digital accounts to your attorney or executors, they will not have the right to open these accounts. They might be able to go online to bank accounts but not to your social media accounts or any portals containing important documents.
You need to give an executor access. That means more than your password, log in information and answers to security questions. They will also need a legal document granting them access to the accounts.
Check with your elder law attorney to learn your state’s requirements. Whether or not your estate planning documents are in the cloud, you probably have digital assets. Make sure your will is updated.
Resource: CNBC (July 26, 2018) “Here’s what you need to know before storing your will online”