What is a Family Operating System®?
By Kristin Hoppe
March 19, 2021
Organizing family information isn’t what it used to be.
With the rise of digital storage, the move away from paper-based systems, and more financial and medical documents than ever, families need a solution that fits modern needs.
That's where the family operating system comes in.
How We Define the Term
In simple terms, a family operating system is a modern tool that securely stores and organizes your family's vital information.
Whether you're looking to plan your family's assets, share important documents, or safeguard your family's legacy, a family operating system can make convoluted tasks way more simple and hassle-free.
The need for this kind of tool has arisen over the past few years due to an increasingly changing landscape that makes it difficult for families to stay organized and have peace of mind.
How Information Organization Has Changed
A More Complex Information System
Families have more to juggle than ever. As digital family information grows in volume, it's increasingly stored in separate places.
Just as an example, one household may have information including:
Medical care guidance
401(k)s, pensions, Social Security
Stocks and bonds
Checking and savings accounts
529 college savings
Passports and Social Security IDs
Keeping track of all this important information can feel completely overwhelming. It’s also difficult to safely store in locations that are accessible to more than one family member at a time.
The Move Away From Paper-Based Systems
Keeping information in a filing cabinet here and a folder there can quickly lead to disarray.
That information is also vulnerable to damage and loss over time. For families who are dealing with the death of a loved one, it can also be a painful process to sift through mounds of documents in an attempt to find the most important information.
A Proliferation of Digital And Cloud Storage Platforms
Many families have attempted to digitize important information on platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive.
While this upgrades information to a digital medium, it also comes with its own issues — such as fragmentation across different platforms, insecure and unencrypted storage, and lack of complex permissions for sharing.
How a Family Operating System Can Bridge The Gap
While the landscape for storing family information has changed drastically over the past 10 years, one thing has remained the same: family members want to look out for each other.
Securely organizing — and having easy access to — vital information allows families to pave the way for a secure future and legacy.
Here are just a few ways the new family operating system can give your family peace of mind, no matter what the future holds.
Stop Feeling Overwhelmed and Lost
Most people aren't sure how to begin securing their family's future, and may put off the task because it feels too nebulous or overwhelming.
A quality family information management system can hand you an estate management roadmap with action items, so you know exactly where to start.
Having that to-do list in your hand (instead of having to make it yourself) is winning half the battle.
Make It Easy to Organize Information, Together
A family operating system allows you to stop worrying about where and how your important information is stored. Instead, you can focus on safely sharing with your loved ones instead.
Keep Sensitive Information Secure
Nobody wants to deal with the nightmares of identity theft or credit card fraud because their information wasn't stored in a secure place.
Keeping your information in an encrypted family management system can prevent the worst-case scenarios from happening and give you overall peace of mind.
Easily Access Information, Wherever You Are
A family operating system can make it easier with day-to-day tasks like grabbing medical information for a doctor's visit or making sure that you renew your passport before it expires.
Look for a solution that offers mobile-friendly options, so you don't have to panic about not having access to that information the key moments you need it.
Bring in Family Members and Financial Professionals with Safety Controls
It makes sense to share your information with other family members and professionals who need it. It's also nice to be able to do that without oversharing information you'd rather everybody not have access to.
Using an app with customized sharing controls makes it easy to share the right information with the right people at the right time. Let a financial professional help you with your retirement planning, or share a specific document with an extended family member.
Whatever the scenario, it's nice to have a choice and sharing controls.
Trustworthy Can Help
We’re proud to run a Family Operating System® to make sure loved ones will have security and peace of mind, no matter what the future holds.
If you're ready to upgrade your family’s information organization, we're happy to help.