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Can I keep my estate planning documents secure online?

A growing number of New York residents and people across the nation are choosing to keep their important documents online. Some companies are offering services to help them with this endeavor. While it might be viewed as a natural progression and there are benefits to doing this, it is important to put very careful thought into whether it is a good idea.

Online storage could be beneficial for some. Estate planning documents should be kept in one place so there is easy access, but that does not necessarily mean it should be online. If the executor, the beneficiaries, and other important people in the testator's life know where they are and how to gain access to them, any location should be sufficient. People who are efficient with the web and electronic record keeping will likely be able to navigate this terrain. For some, however, the tried and true methods, such as a safety deposit box or a safe, might be preferable.

Deciding to go the online route can help keep better track not just of the estate plan, but the online accounts as well. User agreements for access can vary, so this should be accounted for when drafting the estate plan and seeking to make certain those who should have access do. Knowing about any changes to the law regarding online accounts and gaining access requires a legal professional who is up to date on these laws.

Some are uncomfortable with storing their most intimate personal information online for fear it could be accessed by someone with malicious intent, changed without permission, or misplaced. No matter where the documents are stored, it is critical to remember that the actual signed documents - the ones that will be used during probate - are necessary. This is especially true in New York, where original copies are required. With any estate planning issue, a law firm that understands the law and all potential concerns should be contacted for advice beforehand.

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  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
  • In order to finalize the documents we came to your office and were greeted in a very professional manner and we could not have asked for finer service. We left with copies of everything we needed and feel very confident our needs have been met. Thanks again. We will surely recommend you should the opportunity arise.

    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
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Weinstein & Randisi - estate planning

290 Linden Oaks, Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14625

Toll Free: 800-768-1780
Phone: 585-310-1578
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