A local company spends every day searching for the deaths of its clients.
It sounds strange, but it's for a very important reason.
Brian Beal from Phoenix recently launched the website Documenttrunk.com. It stores estate planning documents digitally. The idea was born from Beal's own experience with estate planning when he was handed a huge pile of papers and told to give a copy to his attorney, a copy to his wife and to put a copy in a safe deposit box.
"It seemed like there were problems with that," Beal said.
His attorney passing away before him, his wife and him being in an accident together and his beneficiaries not being able to get into a safety deposit box were all things Beal thought about. So he created Documenttrunk.com. The company uses an algorithm that searches the internet daily for obituary and similar information on its clients.
"If it finds certain keywords, it notifies our staff and our staff goes out and does a life check", Beal said.
In other words, they check to see if the client is still alive. If they find the person died, it then contacts the appropriate people to distribute the documents.
"The internet, as fast as it is, can sometimes be days behind especially in a death. So the faster we find out about it, the faster we can get the documents to the people who need them," Beal said.
Kent Berk from Berk Law Group said families that don't know where their family member's will is kept, or even what their wishes were, is quite common.
"Storing something digitally has the benefit of the loved ones being able to locate the digital documents, but only if the loved ones are aware of the documents stored digitally," Berk said.
The cost to use Documenttrunk.com is $9.99 a month or $99 dollars a year.