Living Trust Originals, eCopies, Safe-Keeping & Records
Safe-Keep & Separately Store Your Trust Originals
Once you complete your trust you will leave our office in possession of both:
(1) All signed trust originals and related documents (in a clear plastic envelope) and (2) A complete page-for-page copy of all signed originals in a 3 ring binder.
When it comes to your paper documents our suggestion is to keep your trust originals in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box or safe, or at the very least, store the original and a copy in two different locations. Some even give out additional copies — but that is an individual choice.
We Now Provide Electronic PDF Copies of Your Documents:
For your convenience and as part of our efforts to supply excellent customer service we are also providing a full electronic copy of your Trust and related documents that you signed (in an Adobe Acrobat, PDF format). This greatly enhances your ability to safeguard, access, distribute, and forward your documents.
Electronic Copies Allow Anywhere, Anytime Access to Your Documents
Electronic copies allow you to easily store, view, e-mail and print copies not just from your local computer but from anywhere in the world, whenever you want. Achieving this capability can be as simple as sending an email to yourself with the file attached. You then save and retain the e-mail in your account. Of course, it must be an Internet-based e-mail account — the kind that you can log on to from any computer using an Internet browser.
Electronic Copies Provide An Important Backup to Your Documents
Once the file is saved in your e-mail account you will have access to your documents from almost anywhere at anytime — with the added benefit that it provides important backup in case your locally stored files are lost or destroyed.
There Are Many Cloud Based Storage Options
Saving your documents in your e-mail account is just one example of a cloud-based storage approach. There are many, more elaborate options such as Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive and iCloud to name but a few. The approach is up to you including the level of security you desire. We simply present the possibilities and a few good reasons to consider some form of cloud-based storage of your documents.
Many Frequently Misplace or Lose Access to Their Paper Documents
Those reasons begin with the fact that, over time, a surprising number of people somehow manage to misplace or lose access to their documents. Perhaps you don’t think that would ever happen to you but all we can tell you is that it happens all the time and much more frequently than we would have ever guessed. The reasons are many from fire, to flood, to theft, to moving, to forgetfulness, to my son won’t give it back, to my dog ate it, to I just can’t find it, to some of the craziest things we could never make up. It isn’t always a matter of losing them either.
Many Find a Need to Access Their Documents When Away From Home
For instance, there have been many cases of folks who are travelling — or away from home — suddenly faced with an urgent need to access or to forward their documents – sometimes for routine business transactions; other times for more serious matters. Cloud-based storage also solves this problem and gives you fingertip access to your documents from almost anywhere.
Instant Access To a Health Care Directive In an Emergency
Perhaps the most compelling cases involve the need to access a health care directive. Many times, this crucial need arises in an emergency situation – often away from home. How will you get to your health directives in such a case? Even if you are near home, how many of you, in the midst of a crisis, will have the perfect presence of mind to remember exactly where they are and have the time to retrieve them? With cloud-based storage there is no looking, no digging, no scrambling, no having to be at or near home – all you need is Internet access.
The Case for Electronic & Cloud-Based Storage is Compelling But Up to You
In conclusion, we believe the case for electronic and cloud based storage of your documents is compelling, but we leave it up to you to decide whether or not to take advantage of this modern capability.
Keep An Accessible Outline of Your Accounts & Other Important Data
Finally, whether you have a trust, a Will or nothing at all — no matter how you choose to pass your estate — those you leave behind are still faced with determining exactly what assets you own, where they are, and how to access them. That is why it is important for you to maintain an accessible, up-to-date outline of your finances, accounts and other data that would be relevant in winding up your affairs. This helps make sure that all of your assets and accounts are known, located, and ultimately handled according to your wishes. This isn’t a legal issue; it is a filing and record keeping issue. Further, it isn’t necessary for this record keeping to be overly detailed it just needs to be accessible and sufficient enough to point everyone in the right direction – a road map so to speak.
Don’t Forget Online Accounts & Passwords
Anddon’t forget to consider online accounts and passwords. They are now often a major part of everyone’s affairs and they too need to be managed and wound down. Yet that can’t be done unless people know about them and how to access them.
Ask Yourself What Information You Would Want If You Were Left Behind
Perhaps the best approach is to put yourself in the shoes of being the one left behind and tasked with trying to sort through someone’s financial affairs. Ask yourself, what kind of information and roadmap you would want to find, and you will have your answer and guide in your own case.