Remember Estate Map? It launched just over a year ago as a cloud-based tool for estate planning lawyers and their clients. Then, last April, its founder, Minneapolis lawyer Joseph Henderson, announced he was closing it down. In its place, he said then, he planned to launch a new site, to be marketed directly to consumers, rather than lawyers.
Today, the beta version of that consumer-facing site was rolled out. Consumers wishing to try it out can sign up as beta testers through the site, but Henderson says the number of sign-ups will be capped for now as his team works to refine the product for a full public release.
In its original incarnation, Estate Map was designed to serve as an intake and communication portal for estate planning lawyers. Clients would use it to provide the lawyer with information about themselves and their estate-planning needs, as well as to store important documents and digital assets and to designate and communicate with proxies. Lawyers would use it as a platform for managing and communicating with their clients, doing intake, and accessing clients’ personal and financial information.
This new version is similar, but takes the lawyer out of the equation. Now, the site is focused on enabling consumers to store, organize and share the information they would want to pass along after death.
From Facebook to funeral plans, from photos to finances, from final words to the location of the key to the riding lawnmower, Estate Map helps you leave behind an estate that’s easier to navigate. Like an online safe deposit box with sharing capabilities, Estate Map is your digital approach to leaving directions and avoiding dead-ends.
The site allows consumers to store and organize information about their estate plan; their physical, financial and virtual assets, including digital and device passwords; and personal information about their health, relationships and other matters. They can designate who should receive that information and under what circumstances (e.g., after death, after disability, or immediately).
The site uses icons to simplify navigation. A drop-down Quick Tools menu provides access to screens for adding asset, estate or personal information. A drop-down main menu provides access to advanced features and help.
Introductory pricing for the service is set at $12 a year. Users can earn free years through referrals.
I have registered for a beta trial account but have not had an opportunity to use it extensively. I hope to supplement this post when I have a chance to go through it more thoroughly.