Planned Departure – Leave memories … not a mess

Planned Departure is all about planning well in life so that you leave memories and not a mess!

It is about starting the conversation and answering some important questions such as:

  • Is your life plan ready?
  • How do you want to plan for your family?
  • Offer the best education?
  • Or gift them happiness?
  • Or hope things will eventually fall in place?
  • Have you taken any financial advice?
  • Do you have life insurance or critical illness cover?
  • Or Do you have a Will in place?
  • Have you started the important conversation?
  • Such as where all your documents are?
  • Or shared your secret recipe?
  • Does your family know your assets and investments?
  • Or your liabilities!
  • Are they aware of important online accounts?
  • Can your family find everything they need?
  • Even when you are not around?
  • Will you leave them CHAOS ? Or Mess?
  • Or Will you leave them memories?
  • Have you planned for everything? or anything?

Now you can!!

With Planned Departure,

  • Organise scattered information in one place.
  • Leave clear instructions.
  • Put everything in order.
  • Ensure everything is there even when you are not.

We can help you avoid the mess

So that you can focus on creating memories.
Planned Departure – Leave memories… not a mess!

Sign up now and start planning.

Life in the Cyberlane – Are you taking care of your properties from the cyber world?

Oh how things have changed.

Around 600 BC, Athenian statesman and law maker, Solon, was credited with the introduction into Greek law of wills. Prior to this, no man in Greece was allowed to make a will; all his assets at death belonged to his family. The terms of Solon’s law bear much resemblance to what we have under UK law today.

It wasn’t until the early 1990s, some 2,500 years on, that the real winds of change were about to have a fundamental impact on our personal assets. And the origins of these winds? Cyberspace!

But let’s go back just a few years to the early 1980s when these winds were little more than just a soft breeze. Microsoft ruled the world, our computers being largely DOS-based and essentially stand-alone word processors. The World Wide Web, emails, social media, Second Life and fiat currencies were all at least a decade or more away.

With the introduction of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web in 1993, that early breeze started to gather intensity. The computer slowly evolved from a word processor into an Internet portal that became the primary means of people interacting with the world around them.

The turn of the second millennium and the spinnakers are up and the sails are full as we race into the digital era. Not only are we now using keyboard and mouse to connect with the world at large, but the introduction of VoIP has meant that even telephone services are transmitted over the Internet. I’m sure the song made famous by jazz musician Louis Armstrong in 1968, “What a Wonderful World”, was not based on the world that was beginning to dominate our lives.

Indeed, for many of us, the transformation into the Cyberworld was so subtle that we didn’t even realise what was happening around us – until there was a power failure!

The Internet has become such an integral part of our lives that it’s inconceivable to think that we could do anything, professionally or personally, without it. And therein lies a conundrum.

Solon set the scene for the disposal of our assets in accordance with our wishes following death, but in the Cyberworld in which we now reside, we have a number of very different asset classes. We are accumulating vastly more digital assets than we are physical assets and the legal system that should effectively deal with these types of assets is woefully behind the times.

Probate as arrived in Cyberspace but there are few who are capable of taking care of its inhabitants. In fact, such is the pace of technological change that many lawyers are suggesting the legal system may never catch up.

Does it really matter that the law is not up-to-date with regard to probate and digital assets? Without addressing specifics, having a will should cover all our assets – both physical and digital – should it not? The answer to the first question is an absolute YES and the answer to the second, sadly, is no.

As in the real world, life in Cyberspace varies and each decedent is going to present numerous challenges for the surrogate/executor and his or her legal advisors. As we have said in the past, just determining what online accounts a decedent has can be the first major challenge. Even when these accounts have beed identified, access to them will need to be gained.

Being an inanimate object, the computer is not able to make a rational judgement as to whether a user should have access to the privilege being requested (accessing files for example). For many of us, security revolves around the use of passwords. So, without a human to monitor the transaction, the assumption is made that if the user has the right password, then the user is the person who he or she claims to be – or at least has been duly authorised by the legitimate owner of the password.

With online accounts we use passwords and other security tools to protect our valuable property. In many cases, terms and conditions relating to usernames and passwords make it binding on the individual not to share these with anyone else.

In a study by private banking organisation US Trust, it was reported that of the wealthiest respondents, almost 50 percent regularly change their passwords to protect anything stored electronically. Probate estate may not always be required, but in many cases estate administration lawyers are suggesting that it would be desirable to establish one in order to give the personal representative of the decedent access to cyber property.

The most effective way for people to protect their digital estates is not in a conventional will, but in a digital will allows individuals to inventory all their digital assets, including usernames, passwords and postmortem instructions. A digital surrogate or executor is named by the asset owner and this person is subsequently provided access to the digital property upon satisfactory provision of proof of death or permanent incapacity. The digital executor can then download, delete or provide to beneficiaries such assets in accordance with the instructions of the decedent.

Would Solon be turning in his grave if he could see the position of our laws today regarding wills? You can bet your last Bitcoin he would!

Launch: Digital legacy of your emails – who should get what?

Now, pause for a moment and think – how much time do you spend on searching for or organising these emails? Also, what would happen if your email account is locked for any reason and you need to access to a critical email? Or would you want your family to access your entire inbox or just specific emails when you are not around?

Emails have become our primary medium of communication. From utility bills to bank statements and share certificates – everything is delivered via email. It is estimated that on and average, there are over 8000 emails in our inboxes. That’s a lot of emails.

Now, pause for a moment and think – how much time do you spend on searching for or organising these emails? Also, what would happen if your email account is locked for any reason and you need to access to a critical email? Or would you want your family to access your entire inbox or just specific emails when you are not around?

Our new asset type solves interesting problems like these. With our new ‘Inbox’ asset type, You can

  1. Save time because you will no longer need to search for emails in your inbox. Or upload important information manually in Planned Departure.
  2. Ensure that you have access to your critical emails even if you do not have access to your inbox for any reason
  3. Distribute specific emails to specific beneficiaries instead of giving access to the entire inbox.

It takes less than 10 secs to get started with this new feature – just forward your important emails to secure@planneddeparture.com – that’s it ! Done!

Our automated process will add emails you forward to your account and will notify you within 10 minutes! As easy as that. You don’t even have to login to Planned Departure to add information in your account!

Please have a look at our landing page for this feature

Landing page for emails

And start forwarding your emails to see this feature in action.

First Google, and now Facebook is following our lead – Facebook rolls out feature for users when they die

GoogleFacebookDigitalLegacy.001

In 2013, Google launched it’s Inactivity Account Manager and at Planned Departure we crossed our fingers in the hope that other companies would start following suit. Which is why we are delighted to see that Facebook has followed the steps of Google and now offer this control to the user.

These steps which both Google and Facebook have taken are heading in the right direction, however, they are not sufficient. Our digital lives go way beyond the remit of Google and Facebook, who are obviously important but who in effect are only a minor part of our digital presence. Think about other online services we use – from communication to financial transactions, we now use numerous services which have become intrinsically tied to our day to day lives.

We should definitely have a lot more granular level control on what and how our accounts should be operated after we pass away. Like any other physical asset, as a creator of these digital assets, we should have the ability to specify who should get access to these accounts and what they should do with them.

People have the right to distribute whatever they own from their physical world, why can’t they do it from the digital world? This question and the problem we faced led us to the development of Planned Departure in the first place.

It is nice to see that mainstream organisations have now followed our lead and are solving this problem for their platforms. However, for an individual, we suggest they should think about their entire digital presence – not just Facebook and Google.

It is important to think about all the digital assets we possess, assign right beneficiaries for them and leave clear instructions for each and everything. It is important to have a planned departure in this digital age – otherwise, our data would stay locked or lost in this cyber-world forever!

To Will or not to Will?

(DIY)Do-it-yourself may work in various aspects of our lives like plastering your living room or cleaning the dust out of your laptop.
Here are some interesting figures about Wills, DIY wills and the general attitude from the public towards them.

Children and the internet – What you didn’t know

The internet plays a major role in our lives on a day to day basis and that of our children without us realizing how long they spend online each day.

Whilst this might in itself not be a bad thing, the jury is still out on weighing the pros and cons. Key really is for parents to take responsibility of their children in terms of how they engage online.

Here are some facts and figures to show the visual seriousness of this online addiction.

internet and children