Why you may want to second-guess storing your estate planning documents online

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2021 | Estate Planning |

If you’ve already sat down to do estate planning, then congratulations. You’re ahead of the game. One detail that testators like yourself often ask is about how to best store their estate planning documents.

You’ll want to keep them in a place where not only you can find them but that your executor knows about as well. While storing your estate planning documents online may seem like a natural choice, it has its downsides that you’ll want to weigh out, first.

Data security issues to consider when using online dropboxes

You should find out more about how secure an online dropbox you’re planning to use is before uploading your estate planning documents into it. 

Health care proxies may contain personal medical information or preferences that you’ll want to protect as private. You’ll want to ensure that the dropbox company you sign up with is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant. Otherwise, someone may gain access to your data. 

It’s not uncommon for testators to provide their executors with a listing of account numbers and logins. You’ll want to thoroughly vet any dropbox company that you’re planning to use to ensure that it has a sophisticated encryption program in place to prevent hackers from being able to access it. 

Giving your executor access to your digital dropbox

One factor that you’ll want to consider if you find an online dropbox that meets your needs is that you may need to give your executor permission to access it in your will or other estate planning documents.

The Florida Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act requires you to designate who your executor is, what information they may have access to and for what reason. (You can also prohibit them from gaining access to specific information if you choose.)

Where to get additional help with the estate planning process

You shouldn’t ever only store your estate planning documents online, but instead, keep paper copies of them on hand as well. These may come in handy if a probate judge asks for them to verify their authenticity or a Florida doctor needs to see your health care directive.

You should also regularly update your estate planning documents to ensure that they reflect your preferences. An attorney can help you do that here in Miramar Beach.