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Digital estate planning an important consideration

Estate planning for Kent area residents is not just about who will inherit the house and retirement accounts. There are many other aspects of estate planning that need to be considered. These change over time, and this is why a family who has an existing estate plan needs to revisit it periodically. With technology, though, additional estate planning considerations have come to light. Now, online sites have popped up that offer a unique approach to storing information and making it available to others when it is needed.

Most people have digital presence. This can include everything from social media accounts to online bank accounts, but it can also be a great way to store a person's end of life wishes. There are several companies who offer a digital repository to store properly executed legal documents such as wills, power of attorney and health care directives. In addition, these sites may offer storage for family photos, information about what to do with pets, funeral wishes, how a person would like their obituary to read and even family recipes. They can offer many details that a will or trust properly prepared with the help of an experience attorney may not offer, including the exact healthcare procedures a person would want administered and who a person wants in the room when the person is close to death.

Although these sites offer a one-stop location for storage, it may still be important to work with an attorney experienced with estate planning. These individuals can help people ensure that they have legally sufficient documents covering their end of life wishes, or with drafting, wills, trusts and documents handling digital assets. An experienced attorney can also help a family determine what estate planning tools work for them and whether an online service is a good addition to the traditional estate planning.

Proper estate planning can offer a thorough way for a person to express all of their end of life wishes for their family - and with new technology, it may even include a digital repository of important estate planning documents.

Source: US News, "Passwords and power of attorney: Your digital estate planning options," Teresa Mears, Dec. 3, 2015

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