No assignee for this patent application has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Estate planning involves wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership (joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety), gifts, living wills, prenuptial agreements, marital agreements, durable powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and general powers of attorney for an individual, couple or a family. All of these documents must be maintained for individuals to ensure that their desires for the distribution of their property and assets are followed. However, there are many examples of both famous and infamous cases where the individual's desires were unknown or disputed through long litigations, probate and familial infighting. These problems occur when there is no verifiable way for the courts to determine what the person desires for passing the estate.
"For example, a will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, a testator, names one or more persons to manage the estate and provides for the transfer of the testators property at death. A will may also create a testamentary trust that is effective only after the death of the testator.
"When a will is created, one or more copies are made. Sometimes the copies are left with one or more attorneys, relatives, or friends. As time goes on, alternate wills can be created as circumstances change or codicils may be added, changed, or removed. Unscrupulous holders of wills can alter them with modem scanning and retouching techniques to create fraudulent versions or deceive an incompetent testator to sign a fraudulent version. At the testator's death, there can be a dispute over which copy of the will is the valid one. Holders of wills which favor them are likely to assert that theirs is the valid and final version and others either predate theirs or are fraudulent. This has historically led to expensive legal disputes with the courts having to sort through various amounts of evidence in order to determine how best to resolve the wishes of the deceased depleting estate assets and often causing rifts among the survivors.
"There have been many attempts at solving this problem as this chart adapted from Wikipedia shows.
"TABLE-US-00001 Software Platforms supported AccuRev Any Java Platform (Unix-like, Windows, Mac OS X) Bazaar Unix-like, Windows, Mac OS X BitKeeper Unix-like, Windows, Mac OS X ClearCase Linux, Windows, AIX,
"For example, version control software companies have audit and notification functions, but these products have not been used in the creation of estate documents, while Websites such as
"Disadvantageously, however, none of the products list have an audit trail associated with the creation of an online estate document, such as, for example, a will. Further, there is no method to track the exact date and time of different versions of estate documents. Nor does any of the prior art have a notification function to let the executor or other interested parties know that a new version of an estate document has been created or that an existing estate document has been modified.
"Therefore there is a need for an estate document management system that overcomes the limitations of the prior art."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A system for online estate document management comprising: a user interface; one or more than one estate document servers operably connected to the user interface; an estate document database operably connected to the one or more than one estate document servers; instructions for verifying the user; instructions for version control of the one or more than one estate document; and instructions for notifying one or more than one recipient of changes to the one or more than one estate document. The user interface comprises instructions for entering estate documents, creating estate documents or both creating and entering estate documents. The database comprises the current version of the estate document(s) and every previous version of estate document(s). The estate document servers further comprise instructions for encrypting the estate documents.
"There is also provided a method for using the online estate document management comprising the steps of: a) providing the system of claim 1; b) transmitting account information is transmitted to a user; c) confirming the security identification; d) transmitting the latest version of one or more than one estate document to the user; e) receiving the one or more than one estate document from the user; f) verifying the one or more than one estate document for completeness and security; g) modifying the one or more than one estate document by adding the security identification, a time and date stamp, and other estate document indicia to the one or more than one estate document; h) storing the modified version of the one or more than one estate document the database without destroying any previous versions of the one or more than one estate documents; and i) sending notifications of the change to the one or more than one estate document to designated recipients. Additionally, the method further comprises storing a first version of the estate document in the database. Also, the method further comprises transmitting complete audit trails, sent notifications, and the estate document versions upon receipt of a request from an authorized user of the account. Finally, the method further comprises the steps for initially creating an account comprising: a) transmitting an account creation form upon request from a user; b) receiving account information by the estate document server; c) processing the account information; d) transmitting a security identification from the estate document server to the user for future access to the system.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying figures where:
"FIG. 1 is a diagram of an online estate document management system to prevent unauthorized changes in stored estate documents using easily producible audit trails and timely notifications to all affected parties when changes are made to the stored estate documents according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
"FIG. 2 is a flowchart of a method of an online estate document management system to prevent unauthorized changes in stored estate documents using easily producible audit trails and timely notifications to all affected parties when changes are made to the stored estate documents according to one embodiment."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Rotter,
Keywords for this news article include: Linux, Patents, Software, Legal Issues.
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