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Estate planning includes storing digital information online

The growing acceptance by most people in Ohio and nationwide of the benefits of the internet has resulted in their willingness to store even vital information, documents and financial accounts online. This trend brings up estate planning issues that require important evaluation and decision-making. There are now software programs that support this movement by assisting people in storing all digital assets in one place.

Convenience is one advantage of organizing and storing information online. For those who cannot remember where each and every document or account is physically located, the online remedy is tailor-made to their problem. It is important, however, to assure that beneficiaries, executors and others know about the arrangement and have sufficient information to act when it is appropriate to do so. There is a sufficient lack of uniform legal direction at this time, making it imperative to have one's digital framework incorporated into the estate plan under the direction of one's estate planning attorney.

The online planning feature has attracted and is attracting many tech-savvy people and others who are moving in that direction. It is a perfect way for individuals to get more directly involved in their own financial and estate planning. Many aspects can be done by the individual, but it also encourages interaction with estate planning attorneys and, where applicable, the individual's expert financial advisor.

In Ohio and other states, one issue to pay particular attention to is access after one's death. There have been disputes between internet service providers and estate executors regarding who has control over the information. Providers express a legal duty to the deceased customer to not release personal or private information. Planning under the guidance of one's estate planning attorney will remedy that problem and set the online accounts in accordance with the person's expressed preferences.

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  • Ohio State Bar Association | Connect.Advance.Succeed
  • Federal Bar Association | ORG Jan 5th 1920
  • Dayton Bar Association 1883
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