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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.