Cottage Industries Emerge to Help Organize Digital Assets

Digital repository"I guess you could call it a smart vault."

Estate planning today includes not only who will inherit our worldly goods when we die—but also what will happen to our digital legacies. A recent article in US News, "Passwords and Powers of Attorney: Your Digital Estate Planning Options," reports that there are new companies springing up to help us make plans and gather all the information our heirs will need in one place. These services provide prompts to encourage users to think about issues they haven't put in writing, like what music we would like playing in our final hours.

There are several companies that let you create a digital repository of your will, health care directives, funeral wishes, family photos, plans for your pet, desires for your Facebook page, and what you'd like to have in your obituary. You can input information now that you want your family to find when you die or even share the information with family now. You should talk about end-of-life issues with your family, record your wishes and then make it easy for family members to find them when they're needed. You can choose whom you wish to see specific information and whether you want to share it now or not until after you've passed on.

The goal is to make this as easy as possible for heirs by having this information all in one place. These sites provide places to upload wills, trusts, health care directives, powers of attorney and appraisals of your valuable items. You can also record the location of notarized and signed copies of documents and the contact information for your estate planning attorney. Charges vary with these services, and they all have options for sharing all the aspects of your digital life, from passwords to bank accounts to the message you want sent to your Twitter followers after you've passed away.

Everyone's situation is different and while these services are a useful tool, no online service can replace the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney who understands your specific situation. You won't know what you're not getting. No matter how good it is, an online program only gives you what you ask for. There are likely to be areas of your estate that call for basic planning documents and ones that require more complex planning. We offer our clients a 'Digital Assets Checklist".  If you have not received your copy, call us today at 757-259-0707.

Reference: US News (December 3, 2015) "Passwords and Powers of Attorney: You're Digital Estate Planning Options"


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We have a LOT more where that came from!

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We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.