Legal Document Storage

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.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Estate Planning & Document Storage for Same-Sex Couples

In the weeks following a federal judge’s ruling that Proposition 8 violates the constitutional rights of California citizens, the issues of same sex marriage once again dominated headlines around the country. With already 18,000 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in the state, this ruling profoundly affects the legal and financial rights of many and, with an appeal already underway, may ultimately lead to an unprecedented Supreme Court hearing regarding the legality of same-sex unions.

With uncertainty looming, estate planning for same-sex couples continues to be the only way to document preferences and make them legally enforceable. As an attorney, you make certain that your gay and lesbian clients are prepared so if they become disabled and unable to control their finances, they have say over who will step in and make these decisions for them.  For most couples, you will prepare a durable (financial) power of attorney, health care power of attorney, living will, HIPAA release and wills and/or trusts. In some cases, you may even prepare a domestic -partner agreement, cohabitation agreements and custody agreement to complete the estate plan.  

Of these documents, clients are most likely to require emergency access to the healthcare directives (healthcare proxy, living will and HIPAA release).  And while attorneys advise clients to keep such documents readily accessible at all times, the need for access to these documents is most acute among non-traditional couples.  This is because unlike traditional unions where spouses are routinely bestowed certain rights when visiting each other in the hospital, same-sex couples are often required to produce a health care power of attorney and HIPPA release before they are given any information, access or right to make decisions on behalf of  their loved ones. As such, it is important that documents be accessible 24/7.

To ensure that your LGBT clients are protected amidst swirling controversy and volatile marriage laws, offer them secure online document storage. LegalVault allows your clients to store all of their healthcare and legal documents in one central location. By offering secure online document storage, you are continually providing your clients with an invaluable service—access to their documents when they need them most.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Electronic Storage Is Not Just for Health Care Directives Anymore

Storing health care directives for clients is not a new concept. For several years, various companies have provided this service to law firms, allowing them to fax in their clients’ health care directives to be stored for access by medical personnel in emergency situations. This service is undoubtedly valuable but fails to provide the complete package to law firms…allowing them to upload, exchange and store health care and non-health care related documents with clients.

LegalVault® has all of the perks of the traditional storage systems but can also house your clients’ non-medical information. In just a few minutes, your clients can have access to their most important documents right from your firm’s website.

We are occasionally asked why this is necessary and we could go on for hours but here are just a few examples of when such technology might come in handy from your clients:

  • A client learns that he will need emergency surgery late one evening, but does not have time to get to the safety deposit box where the originals are stored and your office is closed for the weekend. With LegalVault®, he can always log right in to obtain health care directives on the spot.  
  • One of your clients is travelling and his passport is lost. He previously uploaded a copy of the document to his LegalVault account allowing him to login and download the file to present to the local embassy.
  • A client wants to send you her 2009 tax return for review but does not feel comfortable emailing over a copy. She can simply login to her LegalVault® account and upload a copy of the document for secure exchange with your office.
  • One of your older clients is visiting an adult son out of state. She planned to discuss her recently completed estate plan with him and give him a copy for safekeeping but forgot to pack the documents. With just a few clicks, she can access all of her planning documents and have that important conversation with him regarding her end of life wishes and the distribution of her estate after her passing.

We can all think of situations where we needed a document that was not readily accessible. These situations are stressful but, with new technology, they can be easily avoided. With LegalVault®, you can make sure your clients are always prepared with all of their legal documents securely stored with a company they trust--your law firm.

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