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Phone: 201-345-3018

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Facilities for safe online storage of estate planning documents

It is not uncommon for loved ones in New Jersey to have to scramble around, guessing where a deceased spouse, parent or sibling stored important information. Upon the death of a loved one, there is vital information that needs to be accessible promptly. This may include a will or testament, personal preferences about end-of-life arrangements and other matters related to estate planning.

Instead of storing important documents in file cabinets, boxes, safety deposit boxes and other places perceived to be secure, technology now allows individuals to keep uploaded documents in an organized manner online. Although many people feel insecure about saving personal information online, the available websites offer safe, password-encrypted portals for this purpose. Depending on the facilities offered by the various websites, documents such as wills, deeds, financial accounts, names of advisers, powers of attorney and passwords can be stored.

Some sites offer different levels of access controlled by passwords that will allow each appropriate party access to only the information concerning him or her. Allowed storage is not limited and even information such as where spare keys are kept may be included. These facilities can also serve to assist family members of a loved one who becomes incapacitated by conditions such as dementia that may affect his or her memory.

As the financial and personal circumstances of New Jersey residents change, revisiting an estate plan with the guidance and support of an experienced estate planning attorney may be required. Marriage, divorce, new births and more can affect current plans or may necessitate additional consideration. While guiding each client through creating an estate plan or updating an existing plan, a lawyer can also advise a client on the best and safest utilization of online facilities for storage.

Source: kiplinger.com, "Great Sites for Organizing Estate-Planning Documents", Sally Abrahms, Nov. 24, 2015

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