Many people wonder where the best place is to keep their important end-of-life or estate documents. Obviously, they should exist in a safe and easily accessible place, but what does that really mean? If you’d asked my grandparents, they probably would have said in the freezer (in case of a house fire), but in these modern times, many of us would look to ‘The Cloud.’ The question then becomes, how does one decide which platform to use?
This is pretty simple – any viable choice must have the three A’s:
- Accommodating – A reasonable amount of space for what you plan to keep there.
- Accessible – Your files must to be able to open on any computer or phone, regardless of the operating system. This is non-negotiable.
- Affordable – This one is self-explanatory, and a big part of this article.
As the Death-positive Movement continues to gain traction, it’s naturally opening the marketplace to new, and somewhat questionable, money-making ventures. For example, the advent of sites like Everplans and The Torch – fancy cloud storage sites that specialize in the organization and keeping of important end-of-life and estate documents – present a fundamental misunderstanding of the internet at large: paying is for chumps.
Me? Exchange money for personal file storage? Hard pass.
In the incredibly competitive market of cloud storage providers, who in their right mind would pay a monthly premium to store files for a rainy day that is hopefully 900 years down the road?
BRUH! C’mon. It is the internet! Where there is a will, there is a way to get it fo FREE – amirite? Why should managing your end-of-life documents be any different? People don’t need a genteel, boutique experience. People need a reliable, safe, simple way to manage and disseminate important information about themselves that will help those left behind. And I don’t just mean wills or bank documents, though they are important. I mean the passcodes and login info for various accounts and devices, notes on what you’d like to be dressed in, pictures you’ve chosen for the memorial video, an outline of the obituary – the things that provide peace of mind.
Here, in no particular order, are five secure, intuitive, cross-system compatible (Windows OS vs Mac OS), and, most importantly, F.R.E.E. cloud storage systems available today. This list is not exhaustive by any means, so please comment below if you know I good ones that I’ve missed!
- Google Drive (15GB) – As long as you have a Gmail account, you have access to Google Drive. Just make sure you don’t forget to authorize document sharing with your funeral agent!
- pCloud (10GB) – A Swiss startup that is already 10.5 million strong. pCloud is an ultra-sleek, ultra-intuitive experience that not only has Mac and PC compatibility but it also offers a desktop integration for Linux. pCloud’s desktop app is also incredibly light, as it does not use hard disk space for storing your files – great news for notebook users. Naturally, you also have apps for your phone and tablet.
- Box.com (10GB) – This platform has a reputation as being ‘for businesses,’ but if you are reading this article, I think you qualify as being about the business of preserving your final wishes. Their new ‘Personal’ plan is where the action is at. You have the freedom of choosing to install the desktop app for syncing with your hard drive or downloading the app to access files from your phone/tablet.
- MediaFire (10GB) – Yep! She’s still relevant. This oldie but goodie continues to provide tried and true file sharing and storage for its 150+ million users. Use it on all your favorite devices, as well as Apple TV!
- Sync.com (5GB) – While Sync offers a little less overall storage, their claim to fame is that they’re the most secure cloud platform around. In fact, they’re so secure, that not even they know what filth you’ve been storing on your account. Better not forget that password!