Is Digital Estate Planning Safe and Practical?
TL/DR: Digital online estate planning can be safe, easy, and practical. Common questions about the process are discussed below.
Online options for things we once did in person are on the rise, and estate planning is no exception. Inexpensive and easy-to-use digital planning tools now allow you to create your Will, Advance Health Care Directive, and other estate planning documents at a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney. But how do you know if digital estate planning is the right choice for you?
Below we answer common questions regarding ease of use, privacy, and security considerations when selecting a digital estate planning platform.
Q: Does the digital estate planning platform keep my information secure?
A: An online estate planning service should maintain rigorous security standards to protect user privacy. Wealth uses multi-factor authentication and bank-level encryption to secure all data from any potential breach.
Q: Is my situation too complicated for online estate planning?
A: Most online estate planning platforms work well for uncomplicated family and financial situations. The Wealth platform provides for unique situations, including blended families, gifts of specific items, creation of estate tax-exempt Trusts (e.g., the credit shelter or bypass Trust), and family-owned businesses. If you have any questions regarding your estate, you should consult a qualified attorney. Even if you’ve already created a Will or Trust with an attorney, you can still use online estate planning to modify those documents and manage your estate plan and keep track of your Trust assets.
Q: What are the pros and cons of digital estate planning?
A: Online digital estate planning can be much less expensive than meeting with an estate attorney in person. Additionally, you can revise your estate documents if you change your mind about gifts, agents, or if your life circumstances change. Digital estate documents do not include legal advice specific to your situation. If you have any questions about your estate documents, you should speak to a qualified attorney.
Q: What information do I need to get started with my digital estate plan?
A: You can start your digital estate plan by simply providing your contact information and creating an online account. Once your account has been set up, Wealth will guide you step by step through the process of adding family members, beneficiaries, assets, gifts you would like to give, etc. Wealth provides guidance on how to select trusted agents, validate documents, and alerts you when issues might arise when transferring property or giving gifts.
Q: How do I know my digital estate planning documents are valid?
A: Each state has its own laws about signing, witnessing, and notarizing estate planning documents. Wealth provides signature pages that are valid in your state of residence. Additionally, your Wealth documents will include detailed signing instructions and will alert you if a notary and/or witness(es) is required at the time of signing.
Q: I’m ready to begin my online estate plan. Why should I choose Wealth?
A: Wealth estate planning documents have been customized for the laws of your state and have been reviewed by a licensed attorney in your state. Wealth uses multi-factor authentication and bank-level encryption to secure your data from any potential breach. You can revise your documents at any time on your Wealth Portal online account. For an additional fee, an attorney licensed in your state is available to answer questions specific to your estate needs.