An increasing number of Americans are beginning to understand why they need to draft their estate plans long before they become senior citizens. This has led to an uptick in testators looking for ways to store these important legally binding documents.
Few testators have safe deposit boxes anymore. An increasing number of them instead of having digital dropboxes. You may wonder if it’s safe to store your estate planning documents this way. There are some positives and also some downsides to doing this.
Benefits to storing estate planning documents online
One of the more obvious benefits of storing estate planning documents in a digital dropbox is that there’s less chance they will be misplaced or destroyed.
Digital dropboxes often have backups. Even if a document somehow got deleted, it would potentially be retrievable by the company hosting the server as many providers preserve copies of accounts to ensure customers don’t lose valuable information. Another benefit to digital files is that they can’t be destroyed in a natural disaster. They are also generally stored in the cloud so they’re easily accessible from anywhere.
Downsides to using digital dropboxes for estate documents
While many dropboxes have an extra layer of encryption built into them, not all do. You have to carefully vet the digital dropbox provider you’re looking to use to ensure that they offer an extra layer of protection. You may specifically want to look for HIPAA-compliant ones and those that can keep your personal financial data (including passwords) safe.
If you find a digital dropbox that fits the bill, you and your executor will want to familiarize yourself with the Texas Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. This gives your executor a right to gain lawful access to your dropbox. This is key to protecting your interests once you draft your estate planning documents.