If a Nevada resident has a will drawn up, it does little good to the testator’s heirs if they are not able to find it. Some people spend years searching for financial and estate planning documents following the death of a loved one, so some startups have started providing online will storage services.
The way these services work is that a will is created and stored on the Internet, which allows people to access the document from any location with proper credentials and a web connection. This sounds like a great idea, since people no longer have to worry about losing a document or having to store estate planning documents in a safe and remote location, but digital wills do have some drawbacks.
The first issue is that these companies do not have a great track record of staying in business. Many startups either fail or are purchased by another company, leaving their users in the lurch. Online services are also sometimes vulnerable to hacking or other digital attacks, meaning that even backed-up documents could be lost. Additionally, digital wills are not widely accepted. Only a few states treat them as enforceable, and laws are still being drawn up to determine if they are valid or not and what determines their validity.
It is also important to note having a digital will created does not preclude the need for an attorney. While so-called “do-it-yourself” will kits may seem enticing to some, they often fail to take into account that applicable laws vary from state to state. It is advisable to consult an attorney when preparing a will and other estate planning documents.