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technology for estate planning

Make a Will Month: How modern technology is changing estate planning

There are certain tenets to estate planning that have been and will always be essential to the effective management of one’s assets. However, change is constant, and with change comes the opportunity to revitalize age-old practices and make improvements.  Technology provides us with the opportunity to enhance the inherently personal and high-stakes process that is estate planning. We owe it to ourselves and those we care about to pay attention and to adapt.

Today, it is clearer than ever that in the digital age, the pace of change is accelerating rapidly. As with any example of evolution, those who fail to acknowledge and ultimately adapt to new environments – be they physical or digital – may quickly find themselves too far behind the curve.  And we’re not talking about learning how to use “Instagram” or send a tweet, the potential lost opportunity here has much greater impact. This new technological environment demands quick, agile, and adaptive responses.

Advances in technology, especially in the last decade, have changed the way we plan for the future. In the digital age, a person can ask a question in an online forum, write a Will online, or send an email that might have future legal merit. More than ever, the ability to learn about and access estate planning services is available to a wider group of people.

While traditional estate planning services are important, advances in technology challenge us to look beyond conventional approaches. How can estate planning services offer more value to their clients? People want more than just solutions for their financial or estate needs. Trends show that we value experiences over material objects, personal relationships and things like work-life balance. People want to leave a legacy for their loved ones that goes beyond the “who gets what” scenario.

What if your legal Will didn’t have to be your last word? Now, it doesn’t have to be. In the past few years, various online digital asset management platforms have surfaced, but few cater to the emotional elements of the process. SafeBeyond.com, however, does just that. The service offers a personalized digital vaults platform used to capture and securely store life’s meaningful moments and important information for future delivery, and to bequeath online accounts and digital assets. The trigger-based platform can distribute ongoing messages and digital assets after a person passes away. You can even store your Facebook, email passwords, and other digital assets so that your loved ones can access your digital data after you’re gone.

The availability of such services creates a communication revolution, enabling users to be there for important future occasions and remaining part of their loved ones’ lives forever. These services act as a complement to the traditional estate planning method, allowing users to be remembered by more than just their Wills.

As it is now national “Make a Will Month,” we encourage you to think about how you can harness the power of technology to take control of your estate planning.  While thinking about a Will can make us uncomfortable, it is incredibly important. Among its many roles, a Will provides peace-of-mind to the loved ones left behind and clarity as to how to handle and divide assets. Without a Will, the division and handling of your estate might be subject to the States’ discretion, the stipulations of which could be contradictory to your personal wishes and those of your family. And remember, Wills are not just for wealthy families. Everyone should leave a Will, regardless of financial circumstance.  And today, with all the available online resources, it couldn’t be easier.

But why not go one step further? Take advantage of the services and technology available in our digital age and leave a message for a loved one to be delivered after your passing. Secure services like SafeBeyond make your voice an eternal reality. By using SafeBeyond, you can ensure that your loved ones hear from you, not just your lawyer after you’re gone. You can also store a copy of your Will in a loved one’s virtual safe, ensuring that it reaches the intended recipient.

In this case, newly available technologies are not erasing the need for traditional estate planning services. They are however increasing access to those services, changing the ways we learn about and prepare for the inevitable, and providing consumers with a greater voice.

SafeBeyond

SafeBeyond

Isaac Raviv is the Business Development Manager at safebeyond.com, a “digital time capsule” and online platform that allows users to record and store video, audio and written messages to be accessed posthumously by their heirs and loved ones.
SafeBeyond
This post was written by the SafeBeyond team.

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