Tracking Your Estate With a Click of a Button

Published 05/07/2008


(NewsUSA) - Some Americans keep their estate planning where they can see it - in desk drawers, file cabinets and recycled shoeboxes.

But estate paperwork - files, wills, insurance policies, bank statements, investments - adds up. A daughter, going through her sick or late father's personal file system might not understand her father's assets or whom she needs to contact.

A few years ago, people struggled to organize their bank statements and bills. Online banking streamlined bill-paying and money transfers, allowing bank customers to aggregate their accounts or see their transaction history in one place.

Now, some financial advisors advise their customers to plan their estates online using a system similar to, and as secure as, online banking.

Online estate planning allows customers to consolidate and easily keep everything up to date - from their credit card and vehicle information to their pre-nuptial agreements and plans for the family pet.

Online systems can actually prove more secure than paperwork, which can be destroyed by fire or water damage.

The Estate Vault, a software-based planning system, keeps backups in place. The company stores its data in a building owned by Primus Telecommunications Canada, which has won awards for its support systems. And while The Estate Vault does advise users to back up their systems, it also emphasizes how easy it is to retrieve information. Should home computers crash, customers can download The Estate Vault from the company's Web site, then re-enter their information. Customers can choose to keep their information on a secure Web site, on their home computers, on a CD or USB device or in any combination of those three locations.

For relatives, finding a CD in the safety deposit box, rather than piles of files, folders, and crumpled receipts, can prove a huge relief in a time of need. People planning their estates can rest easy, knowing that their wishes are secure, organized and ready to be implemented.

To learn more about computer-based estate planning, visit Estate Vault trades on the NASDAQ OTC under the symbol TEVI.