LegalVault Blog

Monday, July 26, 2010

Virtual Legacy Planning: It’s not an option, it’s a necessity

After one’s passing, the family generally starts the difficult, and time consuming, process of cleaning up and sorting the personal belongings of the deceased. Much of this time is spent organizing and remembering this person’s life, but it is also a time of discovery.  Bank statements are found, old photos collected and letters to relatives uncovered. All of these items serve to assist with the distribution of remaining assets and also enhance the preservation of one’s legacy. But what if all of these items are stored online? With the growing popularity of email correspondence, online banking, social media sites, online trading, photo-sharing sites, online bill-pay and blogs, this is increasingly the case.

So what happens to all of these accounts when you die? Well it really depends. Some internet sites have provisions in place that allow a relative to gain access once they present the appropriate documentation while others prohibit (or make it virtually impossible) for loved ones to take control of the account. In these cases valuable information pertaining to your assets and legacy are lost.

As estate planning attorneys, you seek to protect your client’s wealth, property and legacy for generations to follow. With many of these items now stored online, it is imperative that this information be included in every estate plan you create. Many attorneys simply request that each client provide them with a list of online accounts  and placed this document in the client’s folder  but this method is far from secure and can easily become outdated.

LegalVault provides a secure method of storing online account information for your clients to ensure that their virtual legacies are properly cared for. With the ability to add an unlimited number of accounts including the URL of the login page, username and password, clients can have peace of mind knowing that the individuals they designate will have access to vital information, photos and emails after their passing. In the event that a new online account is created or a password changed, a client can log right into his or her account to make sure this information is updated right away. Long gone are the days of storing bank statements, love-letters and photos  in a shoebox under the bed but that doesn’t mean that these details and mementos can’t be properly preserved and cherished by those left behind—only now its online.

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