Until recently, estate planning for a nuclear war seemed unrealistic. As wars develop and nuclear weapons are threatened, one cannot help but consider their worst case scenario. Believe it or not, this is a topic that most military families have already thought about. Nonetheless, let’s address a handful of issues specific to estate planning for a nuclear event.
The Best Time to Estate Plan
Obviously, timing is everything. When it feels like time is on our side, planning can move in stages. In other words, the sense of urgency is different in our 20’s versus our 50’s. Nonetheless, as our timing transitions to an urgent need, panic and stress can negatively impact our decisions.
Likely, planning our affairs during a nuclear war will feel similar to a health scare. On the other hand, nuclear war is neither inevitable or reversible. Thus, all of us can avoid a timing issue by planning when we appear to feel good, versus waiting until the end.
Luckily, the planning element can intercept nuclear war when the plan is already in place. After timing, there is still an issue that needs attention.
Document Storage Prior to a Nuclear War
Again, we need to make the assumption that a plan was created. Next, where should we store completed documents? Unfortunately, this is a very personal issue many families are unsure of. As a result, lets address a some of the pros and the cons.
First, locking our documents into the cloud because of nuclear war threat, without having a distribution plan can cause significant damage. We are already seeing this play out with bitcoin.
Second, which is equally problematic from an estate planning perspective, is the risk of duplicating documents. For example, imagine having a hard copy and a copy stored in the cloud. Then, imagine becoming cognitively impaired and using your favorite marking pen to revise the hard copy, while doing nothing with the digital version. Well, this creates a problem. In fact, it creates a major problem.
Again though, document storage, estate planning, and introducing a risk for nuclear war is going to take on a different meaning for every person. Perhaps the person in Minneapolis, Minnesota is thinking they are at risk, while the family farm near Funkly, Minnesota thinks otherwise.
Cloud Storage During a Nuclear War
When adding online storage and the threat of nuclear war to the estate planning process, here are a handful of issues to consider:
- What happens if a Nuclear War destroys everything, including family members?
- Does the Company offering cloud storage have a backup storage site in a remote location?
- Will a remote professional or family member know about the service provider chosen as the cloud provider?
- Is there a password recovery process after a customer dies?
- If the person dies, does the back-up plan die too?
Unfortunately, a family that chooses cloud storage for their estate planning documents may need to reexamen these issue as a war develops. Therefore, when circumstances change, plans change.
Estate Attorney Jasper Berg