LegalVault Blog

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Customizing Your LegalVault Wallet Card to Include What Matters Most

When you enroll in LegalVault, you will receive an Emergency Access Wallet Card which includes instructions for healthcare providers on obtaining your medical information and advance directives. Doctors or hospital administrators can obtain your healthcare information by signing into a secure online site using the pin number on your card or request that the information be faxed over to the hospital where you are receiving treatment. In addition to the instructions, your customized Wallet Card will include your name, emergency contact information, allergies, sponsoring law firm and a note where you can include some key information that you would want a healthcare provider to know in the event that you are unable to communicate effectively.

We’ve included a handful of important information that you might consider adding to the “Note” field of your Emergency Access Wallet Card.

  • Primary care physician’s name and phone number
  • Blood type
  • A note about minor children or pets that may require immediate care
  • Recent surgeries or major medical conditions (e.g. Pacemaker Inserted 2010 or Type II Diabetes)
  • Organ donor status
  • Special vision or hearing considerations

To add your customized note, be sure to include it on your LegalVault Enrollment Form or contact your sponsoring law firm for more information.

Monday, September 9, 2013

What medications are you taking?

Many Americans take multiple medications for an array of conditions each day. If you’ve been to a new doctor or the emergency room in the past few months, you’ve likely been asked to supply this information during the intake process. Many people make a list of all medications and keep it in their wallets. And while this may be helpful when you are able to relay this information, what were to happen if you were incapacitated and unable to share these critical details. Do your loved ones know everything you take? Do they know the schedule of your medications?

LegalVault allows you to securely store all of your medications, along with the dosage and frequency, in one convenient location. When provided with your Emergency Access Wallet Card, a doctor can see this list so there is no question as to what medications you’re taking. If you have any allergies to medications which are commonly administered in the emergency room (e.g. morphine, penicillin, etc), this information will also be included on the wallet card, ensuring that your medical team has a complete picture of what can and cannot be given during the course of treatment.

Adding or removing a medication only takes a few moments so you can keep your account up to date as your health changes over time. Find a sponsoring firm near you to take advantage of this great storage solution.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Protecting Your Furry Friends

The goal of estate planning is to preserve your legacy and protect your loved ones. For many pet lovers in the United States, this also means making plans for their pets’ care if they should pass away unexpectedly. Estate planning attorneys regularly work with individuals to create pet trusts which outline who should care for the beloved companions and often designate funds to cover their expenses. 

While pet trusts can be an effective vehicle to protect your pets over the long-term, what would happen to them if you were in a serious accident and didn’t return home at your regular time? Would your loved ones even think to take Fido out? Would they know about his sensitive stomach or the heartworm pill that he has to take each month? Would they know who his vet is and when his next vaccination is due? In most cases, the answer is no.

LegalVault is a great way to provide this information to your loved ones and ensure that your furry friend is cared for immediately, if you become incapacitated or pass away suddenly. The LegalVault Emergency Access Wallet Card allows you to include a note where you can alert healthcare providers and remind loved ones that your pet is at home and in need of care. With the ability to upload any type of document to your account, you can upload all of Fido’s medical records, diet information, care instructions and even include details on his unique sleeping habits or obsession with chewing socks. 

As a pet owner, you understand that there is a lot of responsibility which comes with caring for an animal. Planning for their continued well-being in the event of your absence is one of those responsibilities. Contact your estate planning attorney today to learn more about LegalVault and how it can help to keep your cherished pet safe and happy. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Delivering Tangible Value to Estate Planning Clients

The value of estate planning is largely intangible. After investing time and money in drafting healthcare directives and a comprehensive estate plan, clients don’t walk away with a brand new car or fancy diamond ring. Sadly, most clients never fully recognize the value of an experienced attorney’s advice or the impact of properly-crafted estate plans until they fall ill or experience the passing of a loved one. Many firms spend a great deal of time trying to educate clients, and the public, about the intangible benefits while others try to deliver some tangible value by providing their clients with a branded binder with the signed documents or, for the tech-savvy, a CD with the estate plan so clients can view and save the completed materials electronically.

In addition to professionally packaged estate planning documents, attorneys can also deliver a tangible benefit by offering a service like LegalVault through which clients can store all of their most important legal documents, virtual passwords and healthcare directives. Once a client is enrolled in LegalVault, he or she will receive an Emergency Access Wallet Card which allows healthcare providers to access the client’s advance directives 24/7/365.  This card, which contains emergency medical information like allergies, contact information, etc, features your firm’s branding so clients are reminded of the great value you offer every time they open their wallets.

With a simple online enrollment process, your firm has ultimate flexibility when it comes to setting up a new account and uploading estate planning documents.  Many firms we work with include the enrollment form as part of their intake forms, allowing them to get an account set up right after the initial consultation with the client. With the fastest turnaround time across the industry, firms receive the wallet cards in just a few days, allowing them to have this nice takeaway in time for the signing ceremony. In addition to leaving with their completed documents, clients walk away from the estate planning process with their LegalVault account information and peace of mind knowing that with this investment in the future, their wishes will be honored during their lifetime and beyond.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Emergency Preparedness that Makes Sense

We’ve all heard the tips from the emergency preparedness experts: list an emergency contact in your cell phone under the acronym “ICE”, place a list of medications in your glove compartment and/or your refrigerator and give your neighbors a set of keys in case police need emergency access to your home. And while this advice is valuable in some cases, in the event of true emergency, when you’re unconscious and unable to convey information to a healthcare provider, it’s unlikely that a glove compartment will be checked or your refrigerator raided for that critical information.

Generally if you’re unconscious or unable to communicate, the first thing healthcare providers want to know is your identity so they can begin the treatment process and contact loved ones. In most cases, a wallet and government identification is the first thing they’ll look for but even once they have your name, it doesn’t mean it will be easy to find your loved ones. It may be days or weeks before anyone is located.

With LegalVault’s Emergency Access Wallet Card, the guessing game for healthcare providers is solved. This card includes your name, emergency contact details, allergies and any note you wish to provide (blood type, doctor’s name and number, pressing medical condition, etc). You will also be sent small stickers which can be placed on your driver’s license and insurance card so doctors know to look for the information if they haven’t already stumbled upon it. Once they have the card, healthcare providers can access any medical information and stored advance directives so you can be certain that your wishes for treatment are respected and upheld.

To get started with LegalVault, contact us for a list of sponsoring law firms in your area that provide this invaluable service.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reconnecting with Past Clients

All estate planning attorneys know that effective estate plans aren’t static. As circumstances change throughout an individual’s lifetime so too must one’s estate plan. Many firms offer maintenance programs to address the evolving needs of clients. Other firms may not have the time or resources needed to develop and implement a maintenance program but nevertheless aim to serve as a continuous resource for clients long after the signing of wills and trusts.

LegalVault is a great way to continuously reconnect with past clients, regardless of whether your firm offers a maintenance program. Each time your client accesses his or her most important documents through your site, you can be certain that they’re reminded of the great value that you provide to clients.  The end of a LegalVault subscription also serves as a great opportunity for your firm to connect with clients regarding changes in the laws and an update that a client may not even know they need.

For firms who require assistance reaching out to past clients, we’re pleased to offer LegalVault ReConnect where we’ll do the hard work of following up with past clients for you. Contact us today to learn more about how estate planning firms around the county are using LegalVault to better serve current clients and reconnect with past ones.

Friday, September 7, 2012

What to Do with that Ever-growing Mound of Paper

Over the course of a lifetime, people accumulate important documents and lots of them. Receipts for big sales, deeds, diplomas, contracts, licenses and as one’s family grows, so too does the number of new documents. When children are born, there are a plethora of documents including birth vaccination information. As they enter school, there are school certificates and educational records.

Most people store all of these important documents in a safe deposit box or a file cabinet at home but just finding a single file amongst one’s sea of paper can be troublesome and time-consuming. Enter LegalVault.

LegalVault allows you to store all of your documents, legal and none, securely online. You can access them in a matter of minutes 24/7 from anywhere in the world. It’s safe, it’s convenient and most importantly it gives you peace of mind.

If you’re unsure of what documents you might consider adding to your LegalVault account, review the list below for helpful suggestions.

Copies of:

  • Passport
  • Marriage license
  • Tax returns
  • Deeds
  • Diplomas
  • Professional license
  • Divorce papers
  • Military records
  • Inventory of house
  • Copy of receipts for expensive items
  • Statements for retirement accounts
  • List of investments
  • Employment contract
  • Photos
  • Home videos
  • Letters to loved ones
  • Manuscripts
  • Family tree

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Post Mortem Access to Spare Your Loved Ones from a Document Treasure Hunt

It’s an all too common scenario: a loved one passes away rather unexpectedly and the family is left to pick up the pieces. For many families, a time of mourning becomes a time of research and hunting as relatives try to locate important documents, instructions and account information. In the weeks ahead, credit card accounts will need to be closed, cell phone lines deactivated, assets transferred and virtual accounts dismantled. In an effort to help individuals ensure that their loved ones do not have to go on a document treasure-hunt, LegalVault is proud to offer post-mortem access for all accounts.

Accounts holders have the option to add as many friends and relatives to their “Post-mortem Access List.” Upon the death of the account holder, the sponsoring law firm will provide these individuals with all of the documents and information that had been stored in the account. login credentials for each individual listed.  It’s important to note that post-mortem access does not allow friends and relatives to remove documents, or edit information, but instead just view the information which had been virtually stored.

By having all of your most important documents stored securely in one central location, you can breathe easier knowing that your loved ones won’t spend the days after your death fretting over the location of your important documents and can instead spend time celebrating your life.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Perfect Document Exchange System for Law Firms

Most attorneys have had that moment of fear when they hear from a client or opposing counsel that sensitive information was not received. In the panic-stricken minutes that ensue, the attorney runs to check the fax number where the documents were sent or feverishly scrolls through his sent mailbox to ensure the correct email address was used. In the age of auto-fill and technology overload (How often have you chatted on the phone, composed an email and Skyped a colleague in the next room all in a five minute time frame?), mistakes are easily made but when it comes to confidential client information, there is no margin for error.

If you follow trends in legal technology, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the “cloud” and how it is revolutionizing the way law firms store and access documents. Simply defined, cloud storage is a network of virtual pools of storage, generally hosted on a remote server. With the documents being located in the “cloud” as opposed to a local office drive, firms can access the documents at any time and from any location with internet connectivity. More and more firms are getting onboard with cloud storage systems because they allow attorneys to work remotely and even allow for easy access to a document from the courtroom. Cloud solutions are also being hailed as the perfect solution to securely exchange documents with clients since there is less room for human error (no fax number to dial or email address to type).

LegalVault serves as the perfect cloud solution to meet your firm’s document exchange needs. With each client account, the account holder and your firm will have the ability to add documents. Documents added by your firm are visible to the account holder and vice versa. When uploading a file, a client can elect to notify you of the addition so you are kept up-to-date on case files and can login to securely download the document and store it in the client’s folder. Unlike many other cloud solutions, there is no storage limit when it comes to the number or size of files which can be added so LegalVault is the great solution for a simple estate plan or a complicated litigation matter with boxes of evidence. There’s also no limitation on the type of file that can be stored so you (and your clients) can easily upload PDF files, Word Docs, Excel Spreadsheets and even videos or audio files.

For estate planning firms who desire legal document storage as well as advance directive storage and emergency medical access, we offer LegalVault complete. For all other firms, we offer LegalVault Essentials which omits the healthcare component. Contact us today for a full tour of the feature and learn how you can eliminate the uncertainty and anxiety associated with emailing or faxing confidential documents.


Friday, December 30, 2011

LegalVault Perspectives

We are often asked why LegalVault is needed. We could go on for hours detailing the necessity of keeping all documents in one secure central location but instead we’ve decided to present the perspectives of several firms that offer this great service to their clients. These pieces explain a few of the great benefits of secure document storage with LegalVault:

  • Attorney Jennifer Deland discusses the benefits of storing your documents online in the event that an emergency should strike. In a blog post entitled “What You Should Take with You When There’s a Fire or Flood”, she details best practices and safeguards that every family should have in place.
  • The Law Office of Richard C. Pertofsky highlights the need for document storage for same-sex couples in an age of volatile marriage laws in a blog post entitled, “Document Storage for LGBT’s”.
  • Attorney Peter Lennington discusses the need for advance healthcare directives and where they should be stored in a podcast entitled, “Health Care Directives - What are They?  And Why I Might Need One”. This audio file is one in a series discussing Incapacity Planning.
  • In a blog post entitled “Your Cyber Legacy”, attorney Kyle Krasa describes the need to protect your online legacy and securely store access information for loved ones.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Secure Documents, Secure Keepsakes

Over the past few months, we’ve seen several natural disasters strike various parts of the United States. These floods, tornados and hurricanes have caused mass destruction, damaging homes, cars and most devastatingly, family keepsakes and documents which cannot be replaced. While these disasters are unavoidable, there are simple steps that one can take today to preserve cherished possessions. With the advent of secure document storage systems like LegalVault, account holders can easily store legal documents along with valued family photos, home videos, copies of diplomas and so much more.

Here’s how it works: Once your firm creates an account for a client, they will be given a secure username and password. Your client can then log in 24/7 to upload documents, photos or videos which can be accessed at any time, from anywhere. If the account holder would like to preserve medical results or data, like immunization records, these can be uploaded to the designated medical section which can be accessed by a healthcare provider in the event of a medical emergency.

As an attorney, providing peace of mind to clients is invaluable. In the event of an emergency, they will be able to turn to your firm for convenience and have many of their cherished keepsakes right at their fingertips.  Contact us today to learn more about adding this valuable service to your client-centered offerings.

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