There are many documents, and much information, you want to store in a convenient place, or you want to share, or you want to access readily. For example, it would be most convenient to store information about the medical conditions, prescriptions, doctors and medical history together with the healthcare power of attorney of a loved one or yourself all in one place. It would be convenient to be able to share the information and the document with other family members easily. It would be a good thing to be able to easily retrieve all of that information and the document with the click of a button. You also want to protect the confidentiality of the information and documents.
In fact, it is impossible to carry all the information and documents you would need in written form. It is also impossible to protect written documents from being lost, stolen, or seen by unwanted eyes.
In addition to medical information, you may want to store passwords, access codes, credit card numbers and bank account information in a safe, convenient and readily accessible place. In addition to a healthcare power of attorney, you may want to store a living will, passport image, driver’s license image, image of military discharge papers (“DD214” form), images of other forms of ID and other documents in a place that is also safe, convenient and readily accessible.
Where is a place that can hold all this information and images of all these documents that is safe and convenient, and provides ready access? In a word: the Cloud. For example, you could create an email address for yourself and email such information and images to that email address. You could be creative and create an email address for a newborn and email images of the newborn, images of newspaper articles, and images of other documents to that email address so the child/family has a repository of such images and information throughout the child’s life.
There are several companies that provide cloud storage, and information and documents can be saved to these cloud sites. My personal favorite is Google Docs. In Google docs, I am not only able to store information and images for my access, but I can grant other, specific people access to specific documents.
The internet can be a place where privacy can be invaded. However, internet sites like Google docs claim to prevent such attacks through their encryption technology. Attacks on normal citizens are rare—most attacks are on government and institutional sites, and on celebrities. There is no question that the internet, and Cloud storage in particular, can store vast amounts of data and documents, enable the sharing of data and documents to loved ones easily, and provide immediate access and retrieval. If safety, security and confidentiality are of great concern, that concern needs to be reasonably weighed against the ability to share information and documents with loved ones, and the ability to immediately access and retrieve documents and information stored in the Cloud.
This is a matter that you should discuss with your trusted advisers—your estate planning lawyer, your financial adviser, and your accountant. Call the law offices of John Grundy today to set an appointment to discuss the storage and sharing of your important medical, financial and personal data.