The Real-Life Value of Digitizing Your Estate Planning Documents


You’ve taken the leap and you have worked with an attorney to get your Estate Planning Documents in place – Trust, Will, Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA).

You’ve funded your Estate Plan by transferring the assets your attorney told you to.

You’ve done your due diligence and had a check-up with your attorney every five-years or major life event (marriage, baby, family death, tax change, retirement, etc).

Kudos to you!!!! You are further along than the majority of America.


Now, imagine you are at work one day and you get a text from your spouse “I think I’m having a heart attack, Jim’s taking me to SLU ER. HURRY!”

I’m sure you would have done what I did. You would grab the necessities, hit the door running, get in your car and not really remember much of the drive to the hospital.

That’s right, this happened to me, Darrell Grant, your friendly HighTower St. Louis Office Administrator.

My husband was hanging out with a friend and thought he was having a heart attack. Luckily the friend reacted quickly and got him into the car and hotfooted it to the nearest ER.

So, I get to the ER and locate him and there stands the head of cardiology and the cardiac surgeon who will be operating.

I introduced myself to them and the nurse as the spouse and MPOA. They immediately asked if I had the documents with me.

Initially I was like “NO I don’t have the documents with me, I raced here from work!!!!!!!!”

Then I remembered my attorney had suggested saving a copy our legal documents to Google Drive, logged in, and emailed it to the ER.

Just like that, a quick email, I had the full legal authority to make the decisions and a sense of control in a chaotic situation.

If not for my attorney’s suggestion, and my follow through, I would have had to have someone bring me the docs or go get them myself.

This really happened just a couple of years ago. Imagine if I had needed the physical copies of those documents because I didn’t have a scan readily available and something had happened. I would have been devastated.

Here at HighTower St. Louis Wealth Advisors we use the eMoney Vault to store our clients’ legal documents. It is a secure system that keeps their documents electronically handy. I’ve since moved all of mine to my Vault.

If you don’t have access to eMoney Vault, ask your Advisor if it is a service they offer. If they don’t, then consider something like Google Drive, Dropbox or Box as a way to store, and share, your important docs with the appropriate individuals.*

Other documents to keep in your Vault:

  • Tax documents
  • Deeds and Titles
  • Identity documents (Drivers License, Passport, SSN, Birth Certificate)
  • Any document you would be devastated to lose in a fire


IMPORTANT NOTE: Any notarized legal document needs to be a modern stamp-style notary or an inked raised seal.  A simple raised seal will not scan.


*When using publicly available programs such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Box, be sure you are aware of, and comfortable with, the risk these resources could be compromised.

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