The Best Place to Store Your Estate Planning Documents
Updated: Nov 24, 2022
While it may be tempting to upload a few documents to a familiar cloud platform and call it done, there is a better option for your estate planning documents.
Let’s be honest— estate planning is no one’s idea of a good time.
It’s emotionally exhausting, time-consuming, and when you’re young or don’t have a lot of assets, it can even feel like a waste of time. Sometimes, it just seems easier to put it off for another day and forget about it. The thing about an estate plan is that you never know when you might need it.
Tragedy can strike at any moment. Life can change in an instant. If you haven’t sufficiently prepared for any eventuality, it can place an unbearable burden on those you love.
We often refer to estate planning as “life and legacy planning” because there’s so much more to an estate plan than just figuring out what happens to your stuff after you die. It’s about being prepared for whatever life throws your way —like an accident that leaves you incapacitated, a life-altering medical diagnosis (like our founder), or, of course, death.
Given the importance of your estate plan, the last thing you should worry about is where to store the important documents that make up your life and legacy. It might seem natural to use a cloud platform that you already use for work or in your personal life, like Google Drive or Dropbox.
While it may be tempting to upload a few documents to a familiar cloud platform and call it done, there is a better option.
Here are just a few reasons why.
Organization is crucial with estate planning documents
Keeping your important documents organized is crucial. You know that a dusty shoebox under your bed probably isn’t the best place to keep all your important documents. So, where is the best place? You may think that a cloud storage system is a quick fix but is it?
Simply put, the cloud storage solutions you may already be using are not designed for life and legacy planning. If your estate plan was just a will and a list of final wishes, a disorganized cloud storage solution might work. But estate plans are far more complex (regardless of how much or how little money you leave behind) and should include more than just a will. It should also include things like:
Banking and financial information
Advance care directive
Letter of instruction
With EstateBox, all of the information needed to settle your estate is collected in organized sections (or "streams" as we call them) for easy access—no need to worry about duplicate or incorrectly named files in a cloud.
Guiding you through the estate planning process
Estate planning can be an overwhelming process, especially when you’re not quite sure where to begin. EstateBox was created to be a highly guided platform. We walk you through the entire process step-by-step, so there's no wondering if key documents have been forgotten.
This allows you to go through the estate planning process at a slower pace and makes it easier to keep track of what you have and haven’t documented. It would require a lot of planning to keep track of what documents you have added to your cloud over a month, let alone a few years!
This guidance is particularly helpful when it comes to heavier topics like end-of-life plans or final wishes that most people don’t want to think about. The platform gently steers you in the right direction as you think about the uncomfortable futures you would normally avoid.
Fostering collaboration and accessibility with estate planning
Estate planning is a collaboration process with multiple professionals providing support and services. We’ve worked with estate planners, lawyers, healthcare professionals, and wealth managers to inform our platform from the ground up. We've built it with multiple professionals in mind so it can be easily used by all the advisors in your life.
EstateBox reduces the lengthy discovery process that wealth managers have to undergo when learning about a client and allows them to give the most comprehensive advice possible. We collect all that necessary information so we can ensure you get all-encompassing, holistic advice and none of your estate is forgotten.
Your estate plan needs to be accessible to advisors, executors, and the other important people in your life. It doesn’t matter how thorough you’ve planned if no one can find the documents and information they need.
Keeping your information secure
Cybersecurity and more specifically how we share information online are critical in our increasingly digital lives. EstateBox allows you to securely share sensitive information and documents online with your advisors, other estate planning professionals, or anyone else you select as a delegate.
While cloud storage is convenient, one of the major drawbacks of something like Google Drive is the potential security risks. Unfortunately, there is no password protection feature in Google Drive to add an extra layer of protection to the files you share. While you can change the permission settings, once a file is shared the recipient can decide to share it and there’s no way for you to stop them from doing so.
Keeping important documents up-to-date
Life and legacy planning is not something you can check off your list and forget about. We help keep your details up-to-date with features like an annual survey that’s sent to you to identify any updates that need to be made to your EstateBox.
It’s easy to upload a bunch of PDFs to your Google Drive but it’s equally easy to forget about them. Don’t worry though—we won't let this happen to you.
We’re currently developing automatic reminders for when your various documents and information are about to expire and need to be updated. This will help prevent you from forgetting to renew important documents like a passport or driver’s license.
What are you waiting for?
Your time is valuable and thinking about what happens after you die or can no longer communicate for yourself is probably the last thing you want to think about.
Life is unexpected though, and we cannot predict what will happen tomorrow. (Thanks, 2020 and 2021.)
Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud storage solutions are fantastic platforms (we use them here at EstateBox every day!) but they’re not designed for life and legacy planning. Without the guidance provided by digital platforms like EstateBox, it’s too easy for important documents to slip through the cracks.
When life throws you a curveball, do you really want to be left without a plan?
We are here to guide you through your life and legacy plan so you’re ready for anything life throws your way.
Create your account today and enjoy a 60-day free trial (no credit card or code required) to help you get started on your life and legacy plan.
How is Life and Legacy Planning Different from Estate Planning?
While we’re passionate about all things estate planning, we’re not professionals. We recommend speaking with your lawyer or financial advisor when putting together an estate plan.
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