Biz Idea #27 – Digital Asset Probate

by Byron on February 8, 2012

The Problem:

Heirs don’t know what to do about accessing digital assets online after someone’s passing.  Often, the heirs don’t even know where the digital asset are.

The Business

A firm (might need to be a law firm) that works with probate attorneys and/or directly with heirs to both find digital assets, and obtain the digital assets from the companies who had them.

I was reading a NYT article from a year ago about online passwords after death.  The businesses mentioned – EnTrustet, Legacy Locker, and Secure Safe – all seem to do the same thing, and it’s not exactly what I’m talking about.  Their services require a great deal of manual work.  First, you have to dump all of your passwords into the system. (Easier if you have a OnePass/Roboform, but still a pain.)  Next, you have to make sure the passwords get into a will or to the right person.

None of this is simple, even for someone willing to acknowledge they are going to die.  And people don’t even like execute a will.

This service is for the vast majority of people who don’t have this service and never will have it.  It’s also for [what I imagine to be] the majority of the above listed companies’ customers whose information never actually made it to the right place.

This service can be turned into a process, and that’s the point.  A probate lawyer doesn’t want to run around looking for digital assets, but they know it needs to be done.  They would pay (out of the decedant’s estate) for this service.  It involves various searching, a couple of phonecalls, a power of attorney, and a few other things.  An appropriate pricepoint is probably around $395.  In all, it is likely four-six hours of paralegal work spaced over a few weeks.

Doableness

It’s very doable, but it’s complicated.  The product is the process.

My Thoughts

I had an earlier version of this idea that I didn’t put up because I thought I might pursue it.  I still might.  This idea is money.

 

 

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