Digital documents can be accessed anytime and anywhere, but only by those authorized.
There are several advantages to storing important documents, such as wills and medical directives online, but there are also some problems that can arise, according to CNBC in “Here’s what you need to know before storing your will online.”
While it is advantageous to keep your important documents in one place, it is important that people who will need access, such as executors, know that you’ve done so or the cloud storage may well be pointless.
The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act allows those who are appointed as fiduciaries to access some digital assets in the 45 states (and D.C.) where the law is in place, according to the Uniform Law Commission. ULC is a state-supported organization that brings uniform laws to different jurisdictions.
However, unless you give full access to your digital accounts to your attorney or executors, they will not have the right to open these accounts. They might be able to go online to bank accounts but not to your social media accounts or any portals containing important documents.
You need to give an executor access. That means more than your password, log in information and answers to security questions. They will also need a legal document granting them access to the accounts.
An estate planning attorney can advise you in creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances, as well as your state’s laws on digital accessibility.
Resource: CNBC (July 26, 2018) “Here’s what you need to know before storing your will online”