Estate planning is a crowded legal specialty and it isn’t easy for these attorneys to differentiate themselves from their colleagues. Here is a product that is compelling for clients and helps these attorneys by offering a safe solution to an increasingly difficult problem for every client – how to manage digital assets hidden behind passwords that were never written down and could now be lost forever.
I spoke with Joe Henderson Esq. who practiced estate planning law and saw how people stored family photos on Flickr and used Facebook as the sole repository for all their friends and business acquaintances. Other people have stored important documents on Google Docs. But how would their loved ones know this and as importantly have the log-on information to access? And what about physical assets?
Joe’s company has created “Estate Map” which provides a simple and manageable tool for estate planning attorney clients to store and access their vital personal data. For estate planning attorneys, they can provide access to Estate Map to their clients from their website. The clients then have this tool to manage what after death is a typically stressful and time consuming activity.
This isn’t a paid endorsement and while I have walked through many of the product’s features, I haven’t loaded my data into the application nor talked to attorneys who have used the product for their practice. However, after talking with Joe and banging around on Estate Map for an hour or so, I feel strongly that this product and idea have great potential.
Estate Map is very secure. There are three levels of security in order to access an account. It is also very intuitive to use because it relies on easy to identify icons to walk users through all the information they have to gather and input into Estate Map. There are seven easily identifiable, colorful icons covering “about me,” “my family,” “assets/debts” “estate plan” “my funeral” “vault” and “notes.”
Now estate planning attorneys have one solution for clients who are turning to cloud computing and social networking to manage increasingly complicated online lives but who haven’t thought seriously about the stress and complications they will leave to their loved ones.