What You Need to Know Before Storing Wills Online

What You Need to Know Before Storing Wills Online

People in Australia are beginning to learn that it is quick, faster and safer sometimes to store wills and other important documents online. It is also very convenient, but you should note a few things before concluding on that idea. According to the experts, these factors are also significant before you even open an online wills account. 

Choosing online storage for your will and medical directives or records has notable benefits. You get to access it anywhere without carrying the storage devices around. As long as there is a Wi-Fi connection or any means of connecting to the internet, you can access them. However, before you jump right into it, note that this process has essential do’s and don’ts.

Before discussing the factors to consider when storing wills online, let us attempt to answer the question of the possibility of storing wills online.

Can wills or testaments be stored online?

In many Australian states and regions, executing a will requires providing a hard copy of that will. The only exception is Victoria, where a digital execution of a will is possible. In other regions, the executor must provide the original copy of the will or testament before applying for the probate or grant. But how does this process affect wills created using online platforms?

See Also: How to Store Wills Online Safely

Wills created online must be finalized by a physical signing by the testator/author and two witnesses. After writing the will online, you should get a PDF version sent to you, which you can print out and sign as instructed. Bear in mind that without the signing by two witnesses, the will is not yet valid. Also, the witnesses must be 18 years or older and be fully aware of what they are doing. These three signatories must sign each page of the will, especially the last one. 

However, note that the laws surrounding what is required and how we complete these processes can vary from one state to another. So, make all necessary findings to establish that you understand the specific laws pertaining to your state. After you meet all the requirements and append your signature, you will need to store both the original copy of the will or testament and copies of it in different places. Note that the original is the most important one.

Factors to note when storing wills online

  1. Try to have every important document in one place

The most straightforward rule when storing physical documents is to keep them all in a single place. If you have a little knowledge of how the online platform works, upload all your important documents and create single access for them using an encrypted key or password. An online storage platform can also be essential to thorough real estate planning, where your service provider usually has a storage system they offer clients. Visit https://www.tag.nsw.gov.au/wills/make-will/will-and-document-storage to get more about wills online.

Moreover, you should also ensure that key stakeholders must be aware of whatever storage you choose. For instance, your executors, beneficiaries and other essential people directly affected by your passing are aware of your arrangements before time. As a result, in the case of your death, it will not be difficult to proceed with all necessary arrangements as you want them done. While online storage helps start the conversation, you should carry essential people. 

What You Need to Know Before Storing Wills Online
  1. Include all your digital assets

When you choose to store your will in an online safe, you should consider securing your digital asset in the same place. Not only will this choice help to organise and manage your purchases from a single platform, but you can also maintain a single online account for all critical documents without missing anything. In some cases, the testator can name someone who should have limited access to the storage after the death to establish trust for emergencies. 

In other cases, the rules are different for access and management. But whatever restrictions apply to what you are trying to do must be stated in your user agreement at the start of the process. Whether one or many, you should also include all the accounts in your real estate planning process. Otherwise, the assets may be lost or destroyed in the case of death. Then, don’t forget that if you have an executor who will be in charge of all the proceedings after your departure, he should have full access to all these accounts. 

What You Need to Know Before Storing Wills Online

In other words, you should give your executor and the trusted individual your password and additional login information. If there is a chance that you may forget your password or any of the essential details, you may want to keep them in a password manager. The tool supports all your passwords in a single place and is up to date.

  1. The Online space may not be for everyone

No matter the level of newness and competence that the online platform brings, not everyone will be comfortable putting a lot of such information online. In other words, there will always be the question of how secure the platform is and how accessible the information will be before you choose the online tool to keep your will and try to understand the security requirements. If you are not comfortable with keeping the will online, you don’t have to.

  1. Communication and Organization are vital

People can choose to keep their wills online or otherwise; the more important matter is organising your documents. Similarly, you should also communicate your specific wishes with your family and loved ones. Otherwise, people who are generally disorganised will let things get complicated, and it may defeat the purpose of creating the will online in the first place. Instead of waiting for life to happen, one can start to plan as soon as possible. 

Conclusion 

Finally, the decision to store wills online is a good one. However, experts have established that keeping the originals and copies of your will is crucial in the right places. While the original is needed at the will execution, you can safely keep copies of wills in a safe online platform. The original is recommended to be held at a secure location, including the equally important documents of life and properties. You can use a safety deposit box, but when you choose an online storage, ensure you also share the storage details with the executor. 

How to Store Wills Online Safely

How to Store Wills Online Safely

Creating wills online is an excellent choice for many, but the real deal is to ensure your Will is safely kept till the right time. Moreover, the world is increasingly getting digitized, which is why we should take advantage of the development. This article is a guide on how to make use of online storage for your Will without compromising its importance and value. At the same time, it will be accessible to your trusted person when the right time comes.

Why do you need to write your Will?

No matter how the sound of writing a will feels, it would help if you considered it all the same. Perhaps you are not also hearing it for the first time, but the cost of not writing an online will when one passes can e higher than the pain of putting one together. In some cases, one may be lucky to prepare ahead of time, which means that you cannot afford to ignore opportunities like this. Creating your Will is a crucial decision you can’t afford to defer to later. 

No matter the number of assets and the status you are in, no other person can do it precisely how you would have wanted it. A will or testament makes that possible, even if all you have to leave behind is a single estate. Your Will can also cover all kinds of assets, including financial assets such as stocks and bonds, landed properties, cars, jewelry, artwork, furniture, clothing, and many more. 

Related: Why do People Write Wills Online?

Instead of assuming they will all go to your spouse and children, the law says that whatever you wish happens to your assets, write it down and get it approved by the direction of the state and that of Australia. Instead of causing disagreements after your death, why not make everything as clear as day ahead of time and let there be peace? 

Meanwhile, while some people discard the idea because they don’t want to think about death, the same end has kept many other notable folks unaware. For instance, Tupac Shakur, the famous American rapper, died at 25 without a will to his name and left a mother. Martin Luther King Jnr and Abraham Lincoln died without creating a will or testament that states under the law who gets what and what they left behind. Learn more about wills and probate.

The death of a beloved one is enough stress; not making plans about how to ease their lives after your departure adds to that burden. Those closest to your should be able to quickly take over your affairs and manage your assets to maximum productivity and gain. Many issues, including arguments and court cases, trail the demise of such persons from anybody who wants to inherit those properties even if they don’t deserve it.

How to Store Wills Online Safely

Ways to store wills online or copies in physical locations

A simple thought when planning to save your Will securely is the method of keeping it alongside all other valuable documents. All the essential papers should be safely held where your loved one can access them after departure. In other words, you are not only planning to safe keep your Will, but you also want to keep other valuable documents together there. Stowing it away where no one can reach it may eventually do more harm than good. There should be one or two trusted persons who can access it when it comes. Wherever you choose to keep the original signed copy, ensure the place is safe, secure, fire-proof, and water-proof for such documents. 

While original papers can be stored in the way stated above, you should keep copies of your wills online and in the following places;

  1. Law firms

Surprisingly or not, law firms are one of the safest places to keep your essential documents after completing them. Depending on the robustness of your chosen law firm, they often offer a storage facility for the safe custody of whatever item is essential to you, such as your property papers and the Will. Moreover, you can also keep these legal documents there in possession of your attorney. 

  1.  Safe deposit facilities

There are at least two options when it comes to safe deposit facilities. They include;

  • Bank safe deposit

Apart from the law firm, another place you should quickly consider for the safekeeping of sensitive articles is the bank. Again, the bank offers a closely secure vault for your money, which could be a free or paid service. A paid service will involve having a dedicated safe deposit box to your name where you alone know the access code. Other banks may offer an extra layer of security, such as special packets for your assets at a token.

  • Other document storage services

Other privately owned storage services are a third alternative to storing your wills in banks or law firms. These companies safely keep whatever item is essential to you, maintaining ins safety deposit boxes that you could rent. In addition, you could rent these deposit boxes for a while to move things around or collect and store items. But ultimately, they also have a location where they keep all valuables. 

  1. Public Trustees

Public trustees are groups or associations offering their trust to secure assets to execute your Will safely. State and territory public trustees often provide storage services to citizens even if they do not offer a will-making service. You can find any of these services in the following places

  • Western Australia

The Western Australia region has the WA Public Trustee in the form of the WA Will Bank, which charges some fees. However, they only trust people who didn’t use their service to draft the Will. Otherwise, you are free to store a copy of your Will with them safely.

  • Victoria

In Victoria, you can find the Victorian Will Bank as the State trustee, and there you can store end-of-life documents. The charges are often billed per document saved, but if you nominate the State Trustees as the executors of the paper or hire them as attorneys, they can waive the charges.

  1. Probate Registries

For example, the Succession Act 2006 in New South Wales allows anyone to deposit their Will at the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court for safekeeping. Moreover, sections 51 to 53 of the same documents state the process of storing your Will even if you create it online. Similar techniques work for the other provinces. 

Conclusion

Whether you create your Will online or the traditional way, storing a copy of the original Will is non-negotiable. When it comes to storage, you should consider electronic ways for password protection or an encrypted USB drive that you can store safely. This method also works if you create the wills online. We recommend choosing Chamberlains as your trusted partner in creating a perfect choice in simple steps according to the laws of Australia.

Why do People Write Wills Online?

Why do People Write Wills Online?

A lot of people discard the idea of creating wills online because they fear the thought of death. But knowing that death is unavoidable, one should also do well to secure the lives of dependents, including spouses and children. Meanwhile, we encounter different types of wills, the urgent ones scribbled on paper before a medical procedure, and the wills created online. What validates a will is not precisely the means of making it but its satisfaction as a legal document. 

While some beneficiaries are surprised when they see the author’s will’s nature, they appreciate that the process is done. Moreover, you will prefer the former when you see that such wills like the online type do not require the tedious process of a traditional approach. Some people do not even believe it is possible to create will online without the physical assistance of an attorney. Yet, it is the best way to save costs and time and achieve results.

What is the best-case scenario?

After the demise of a testator, the validity of the original will makes it easy to probate it and disburse it to the beneficiaries. It is easy to find the location of all the beneficiaries of the will’s contents. It may also include the spouse, children, and other family members and friends. When you write wills online with the support of an attorney, you can also avoid some necessary pitfalls. On the other hand, a licensed attorney can add some measure of complications to the matter while it also costs you more and can take some time.

Why do People Write Wills Online?

What is the worst-case scenario?

Sometimes, the testator may make mistakes when executing the wills online. Let us quickly consider a few instances. What could invalidate a will or delay the process of its probation or execution?

  1. Non-self-proven will

It requires the signature of a testator or the author of the will to prove the will. In addition, there should be two witnesses and a notary public to help notarize the will. But if the will has not been notarized yet, it will take the presence of the witnesses. One of the witnesses must appear in court to testify to the proper execution of the will. As for the witnesses, each of them should be at least 14 years old, and the testator or author should also be 18 years old.

The testator should have a sound mind and be fully aware of what they are doing during the writing. There may be a few problems with this process. For once, when a will is not executed correctly, the testator is banking on the odds that the witnesses will outlive them. The other assumption is that witnesses can be located and willing to testify in a court regarding the execution of the will. 

  1. Original Will is missing

Sometimes, a missing will indicates that the document has been destroyed or revoked. Therefore, the alternative is to offer a copy of the will as probate. However, creating wills online removes the possibility that the original document could be missing. In the case of a formal will writing, there must first be an heirship preceding that attempts to establish who the authentic heir of the property is. Then the heir must receive a notification and a privilege to dispute the proposed copy of a will if necessary.

Why do People Write Wills Online?
  1. Using a holographic will

As in the case of traditional will preparation, a testator may decide to use a holographic will. A holographic will is created entirely in the handwriting of the testator. This pattern can be a reliable way of establishing the document’s validity, unlike adding only the author’s signature. However, it is hard to create holographic wills online, except certain factors are in place. 

Moreover, the holographic will also usually doesn’t have some aspects of a will. In addition, it requires that the witnesses that will testify in court have a good reason to identify, without doubt, the author’s handwriting. After identification, they must also be able to confirm that the holographic copy of the will matches what they know. 

  1. All parties’ agreement 

One of the crucial reasons anyone needs a will is to avoid disputes and disagreements between different parties when the will is initiated. When parties disagree over a will, it could lead to a messy can of worms. After successfully creating wills online, you also need to ensure that it is self-proven to ensure no one can dispute its validity. One of the common ways some parties can invalidate a will is to establish that the testator was not in the right mind to create a will.

If there is an indication that the testator was under any influence, then it affects the execution. Another way is to use an unknown child or debt by the testator or a lack of qualification. It may also be knowledge on the part of the author or testator. This process can lead to a prolonged probate period, leading from one disagreement to another. Anyone who creates wills online can avoid all the complications that make a terrible scenario during execution. 

Conclusion

Finally, the ability to build irrevocable trust is the essence of creating wills online. It is hard for many things to go wrong when you do it the right way. However, the testator subjects the people to unnecessary heartaches if a loophole in the testament makes it challenging to establish and execute the will. Also, the wills created online are as valid as the traditional wills as long as you choose the right firm to complete the process. At Chamberlain, even if you have an existing will, we will be willing to review it and give our professional input. Our goal remains to see your business thrive by every means possible while building trust with us so much that you won’t have to prove it in court anymore.