Frequently Asked Questions
What is WillSummit?
WillSummit is an internet-based service whose goal is to increase the ability of your will, life insurance policies, and other documents and assets to be found following your death.
How does WillSummit work?
WillSummit allows you to provide information to assist your heirs and loved ones in identifying and locating certain documents and assets.
I have heard a lot about digital estate planning. Does WillSummit allow me to plan my digital estate?
Under current federal law, it is possible that any attempt to direct the disposition of your digital assets at your death could violate copyright laws, or could violate the terms of service of digital service providers. While you may submit information relating to your digital assets, doing so is at your own risk. You should consult an attorney, and each digital service provider, to determine whether your legal documents may cover your digital assets. WillSummit does not allow you to create or alter legal documents, as noted below.
Does WillSummit allow me to store copies of these documents?
At this time, WillSummit does not provide for online document storage, because there are many other cloud-based services which allow you to store your documents, such as Google Documents. At WillSummit, we do not believe in re-creating the wheel and duplicating the storage services available. If your document is stored online, you can link to it through WillSummit.
I have a safe deposit box, and have left instructions for my heirs in my home. Why do I need WillSummit?
WillSummit is a tool of convenience, whose purpose is to reduce the amount of time and searching which your heirs have to conduct to locate documents. The information is designed to provide clues as to where to look. In essence, it allows you to create a treasure map directing loved ones to vital documents and assets.
How will my information be protected?
I have created a new will. Should I update my information?
Yes. WillSummit requires you to also enter the date of your will, in order to distinguish between different versions. If you do not indicate that there is a new will, you run the risk that a prior version of your will is probated if you do not take steps to destroy or revoke your old will.
I do not want my children to learn of the contents of my will. How can I prevent this from happening?
Your information may not be searched by a child during your life, as an authorized person must submit proof of death to search your information. However, under state law, your children may have a right to see a copy of your will and living trust (if any) following your death. For that reason, WillSummit allows children and other family members to search your information after submitting proof of your death and proof of relation to you. In addition, beneficiaries of your life insurance policies will be allowed to receive your information. If you are not comfortable with this, you should include instructions which state that your children (or specific family members) may not search for your information.
Can I include other information for my loved ones?
Yes. In fact, you may either leave instructions on the website, leave information to help loved ones identify documents containing final messages, or even provide links to stored documents online. However, you should note that instructions on the website which attempt to direct the disposition of your estate will not be effective if not also included in your will.
Can the information I submit act as my will, as a codicil to my will, or as a trust or trust amendment?
No. State laws have stringent requirements that a will or trust must satisfy in order to be valid. At this time, no states have permitted information stored in electronic format to be treated as a will or trust.
Does WillSummit allow me to create a will online?
No. WillSummit is not a do-it-yourself document service, nor does it provide any sort of legal services. It is recommended that you retain an attorney for the preparation of your will and other documents. Submission of your information to WillSummit does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor will such submission be subject to the rules of confidentiality by which attorneys are bound.
I am not a resident of the United States. May I use WillSummit?
WillSummit is optimized for use by residents of the United States. Residents of other countries may use this service, but WillSummit cannot guarantee that the format of the website will allow for effective searches for your information if you currently reside in another country.
My attorney has provided me with a service to store my documents online, or has my original will. Do I need to use the services of WillSummit?
This is largely up to you. If your loved ones are not aware that your attorney has stored copies of your documents, you can register with WillSummit and indicate that your documents are stored in another professional’s proprietary service. This will direct your loved ones to the appropriate source.