WHO CONTROLS YOUR MEMORY?

Do you use online services to help communicate, store important information or photographs, and generally organize your life? I do.  And, most people I know do as well.

Have you ever thought about what happens to all that “stuff” when you die or become incapacitated?  Until recently, I had not given much thought to it.  But, over the last few weeks, I’ve read some articles that got me thinking about it.  These ought to be considerations in formulating our estate plans.

Yes, my estate planning clients are concerned about what happens to their money and the real estate when they die or if they are sapped by insidious cognitive event or disorder.  But, the things that elicit the most concern, particularly to those left behind, are often things of little financial value.  Historically, these have been tangible things.  Usually, they involve something handed down from a previous generation.  Often, however, the things that create concern (and conflict) are photographs and letters – things that are extraordinarily personal in nature.  In our modern world, those personal effects are as often as not stored in digital formats and often online through services such as Snapfish or even Facebook and email.

I think it important to try to ensure that your memories, and those of you, are left in the control of those you love.  A good estate plan can help you do that.

Robert A. Wells

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