Peter Minev
Sep 4 2020
Asset protection/Digital Inheritance services

Traditional wills vs. digital inheritance

When we speak about asset protection, inevitably wills and traditional inheritance pop up. 

We have already reviewed in detail in our blog “Best way to protect assets and ensure loved ones are secure” why traditional wills and inheritance don’t work. Let’s briefly summarize the reasons: 

  • Cost

Traditional wills are expensive. The cost depends on many factors, such as geography, beneficiaries, and assets, but in most cases, you’ll end up with a good 5-digit figure. 

  • Bureaucracy 

The world of the politicians who craft the laws is moving whole eras behind the speed of technological progress, so expect to have to prepare and provide numerous documents, the reason for many of which nobody would be able to explain to you.  

  • Time

Drawing up a traditional will is a really time-consuming procedure. If you are running on a busy daily schedule, it’s not clear which will hurt you more – the bill or the time that you’ll spend in the process. 

  • Kind of … useless

Yes, you heard correctly. Despite the money and the time that you’ll spend, your traditional estate planning will soon become useless. The primary reason for this is that nowadays people’s assets are dynamic. After five years, probably 50% of your assets will be different – new insurances, new credit cards, new bank accounts or stocks, etc. If you add to this the possibility of changes in one’s personal life, e.g., an additional beneficiary in the case of a baby being born, you soon realize that traditional wills simply don’t provide an easy mechanism to update one’s asset catalog or beneficiaries and consequently become outdated soon after they have been created.

  • And the most important drawback is …

Now you might say, “The information in the previous paragraph sounded horrible. What could be worse than that?” But there is one more drawback that is even worse than the fact that traditional inheritance tools soon become outdated. 

This drawback is that traditional inheritance tools don’t provide a mechanism for notifying the beneficiaries if anything happens to you. If your loved ones are not notified about your assets by your life insurance provider or bank, and your will is outdated and doesn’t provide information about them, your family will be in real trouble. And your well-crafted will will simply be useless, even if it is prepared by the best law firm or attorney in the world. 

Are digital vaults the same as digital inheritance?

Now you might think, “Can’t I just use a digital vault to solve these problems?” 

As we reviewed in our post about digital inheritance and secure vaults, unfortunately, the answer is “no.” 

The primary reason, as we explain in the blog, is that digital vaults are designed to store sensitive and confidential information. Thus, their primary focus is on security. 

There is nothing wrong with that, but, while they are great for storing confidential digital records, they fall short in fulfilling the goal of digital inheritance.

Digital vaults are designed to store information, not for digital inheritance.

The primary requirement of a vault is to be very secure, so pivoting these systems to designate beneficiaries and provide them with access to the stored information is not a trivial task. Because of this, vaults simply can’t serve the purpose of digital inheritance tools. Their information is predominantly available to the owner of the asset.

What does “matters the most” mean?

We’ve used the phrase “when it matters the most” in the title of this blog, but we didn’t actually specify what it means. You might immediately answer, “It matters the most at any moment in time!” 

Every moment matters the most when we speak about our families.

Your immediate answer is quite correct, actually. Is there a moment in time when you would say, “Nah, at this moment my family might lose all the assets which I possess – that’s OK”? Hardly. You are absolutely right: every moment matters the most when we speak about our families and protecting them! 

Traditional wills provide protection only at the moment when they are created. 

This is exactly the problem with traditional wills. They capture a snapshot of your assets and beneficiaries at a given moment, so they offer protectione for only a very short time. But you need such protection always because every moment is the most important for your family. 

The link between traditional asset protection and unforeseen events is simply broken. 

It should already be clear that asset protection through traditional wills just doesn’t serve its purpose nowadays. 

They don’t provide an easy mechanism to update your asset catalog and, as a result, soon become outdated. 

Traditional wills see assets and beneficiaries as a snapshot in time, rather than continuously changing.

And most importantly – they don’t provide a mechanism to inform your loved ones about your assets, such as insurance policies, bank accounts, stocks, and retirement plans. 

So how, then, we should implement asset protection? 

With the DGLegacy digital inheritance application, you can protect your assets against unforeseen events and ensure your family is secure.  You can connect your preferred beneficiary with your preferred assets, and they will be notified at the time you choose – while ensuring they get the support they need in the process of claiming. 

With DGLegacy, you can protect all types of assets. It is also easy to keep your list of assets and beneficiaries up to date. 

This way, in the case of an unforeseen event, your loved ones:

  • are aware of your assets
  • can identify and locate your assets
  • can minimize the chance of unclaimed assets.

This is achieved through the following easy steps:

Catalog your assets

You catalog the assets that you want to protect via DGLegacy, providing the minimum basic information about the assets that will allow your beneficiaries to identify and locate them. DGLegacy doesn’t ask for confidential information such as your bank account number, the value of your stock options, or financial account numbers! 

Designate beneficiaries and trustees 

Beneficiaries are the people whom you appoint to be informed about the assets that you assign to them. These are usually your partner, your children or your extended family members, such as siblings and parents.  

You might not want to share your asset information with your beneficiaries just yet. No problem. You can choose whether they are to be notified at the time you create the asset or only in the case of an unforeseen event. 

If your beneficiaries are, for example, elderly people or children, they might not be proficient with the type of assets assigned to them. In that case, you can assign trustees for each of your assets in the DGLegacy application. If anything happens to you, they can help the beneficiaries to locate their assigned assets and claim ownership.

Configure your Heartbeat protocol

The custom-engineered Heartbeat protocol of DGLegacy verifies that you are OK and detects whether anything unforeseen has happened to you.  It is a safe procedure which also aims to eliminate the possibility of false detections of unforeseen events. This is implemented through a multistep process described on the How It Works (link) page. 

Heartbeat protocol triggering (unforeseen event detection)

If there is no confirmation in response to any of the reminder emails or phone calls, the system detects that an unforeseen event has happened to you.  Then the notifications which you have configured into the system about the cataloged assets and the associated beneficiaries and trustees are triggered. Unforeseen events happen.  With the DGLegacy application, you can protect your loved ones and secure your assets when it matters the most.

AUTHOR

Peter Minev

Co-founder of DGLegacy - the digital inheritance service that protects your assets and secures your family, when it matters the most.

Author of the book Building TECH: https://topstrengthener.com/about-the-book/

Engineering leader who has built tech organizations in companies of various sizes and industries around the globe.

Peter holds M. Sc. Degree in Engineering and EMBA degree with honors from ESMT Berlin.

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