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Many websites now exist where an estate plan can be stored online, but a word of caution on storing a valuable plan in the cloud.

A new trend in the world of estate planning was reported in a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, “Passwords and Powers of Attorney: Your Digital Estate Planning Options.” The trend was the filing of end-of-life decisions on digital copies. These services can be wonderful and extremely beneficial to family and other heirs but some caution is recommended.

The sites allow the user to give instructions about end-of-life care and funeral plans. Allowing users to store their estate planning documents is of great value as that makes it easier for executors and heirs to know not only what estate planning was done, but it also makes it easy to find all of the important documents.

Often, one of the biggest hassles after someone passes away, is determining if that person has an estate plan and, if so, where to find all of the legal documents. To the extent that these new online services help prevent that hassle, they offer a wonderful service.

However, it is important not to rely on the websites alone for legal document storage.

Often an original copy of the document is necessary, not a digital copy. For example, it is much more difficult to get a copy of a will admitted to probate than it is to get the original will admitted.

It is important to not only rely on a website to secure your plan but to be sure the original documents can still be located after you pass away.

Reference: U.S. News and World Report (Dec. 3, 2015) “Passwords and Powers of Attorney: Your Digital Estate Planning Options

For more information on estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.