Frequently Asked Questions

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What is SharedAffairs?

SharedAffairs is a safe and secure platform where sensitive information can be stored and shared with loved ones. Our free service allows people to safely store important personal information, documents and/or messages to be shared with their loved ones in the event of illness or death. You can store your funeral wishes and any other information in a safe vault, and you can assign a contact (usually a close family member or friend) who will be granted access to the information you’ve opted to share with them.

If you’d like to know more about how this works, please have a look at this video which explains the process.

Your Personal Affairs are stored in digital vaults that safely store your funeral wishes, information regarding your will and any information that would help your family deal with your probate. They can be assigned to the people you select as your contacts and managed like any digital vault. Digital vaults are for general information and can be used for anything you’d like to store; passwords, codes, financial information, other wishes you may want to share, any voice or video messages you want to leave for specific people, photo albums, lists of promises made, goodbye messages, etc. You are only limited by your imagination, and what you choose to share is fully up to you.

You can put digital copies of anything you want your contacts to have at any point in the future. The files you choose to share may be important documents such as scanned copies of certificates, insurance policies, family photographs, estate documents, bank account details, your mortgage details, or you can write notes on topics such as your funeral arrangements or how your hospital bills should be paid if anything happens to you.

Your contacts will only be able to see the contents of a digital vault after the vault has opened for them. Your contact will have to request access to it and then wait the amount of time set by you (or one week by default) before access to the information in the vault is granted to them. Don’t forget that we will alert you of their access request as often as you decide (or daily by default), and you can block the request if you wish. If you don’t block the request within the specified time (e.g. within a week or the time period you choose), your contact will be able to log into their account and see the contents of that vault. You can still block their access even after they’ve gained access, if you wish.

Only your confirmed contacts can see that you have assigned a digital vault to them. When they see that you have assigned a digital vault to them, they can only see the name and description of the vault. They can also see how long it will take to open the vault after they make a request to open it.

No. You are the only one with the ability to edit the contents of your digital vaults. Once a digital vault has been opened for them, your contacts can only download and read its contents. They are not able to make any changes.

Confirmed contacts are those contacts who have accepted your contact invitation. You will see a tick mark next to their names on the SharedAffairs platform whereas unconfirmed contacts have no tick mark next to their name. Your selected contacts cannot see that you have assigned any information to them until they accept your invitation.

If you wish, you can delete any contact from your Contacts page, and that contact will no longer be assigned to any digital vaults.

You can delete a contact by logging in to your account, clicking on Contacts, clicking on the name of the contact you wish to remove, then click Delete Contact.

Once removed, the contact cannot see any vaults you had previously shared with them. You can always add the contact again, but you would need to reassign any vaults to them.

Only the confirmed Contacts that you have assigned to a digital vault can request to open the vault.

When you delete a digital vault, along with de-assigning contacts from that vault, all the files, notes and the vault description will be deleted as well.

If your contact has not accepted your contact invitation, they would not be a confirmed contact and therefore will not yet be able to see anything you have shared with them.

You can block a contact’s request to access your digital vault anytime whilst they are waiting for the digital vault to unlock, and you can even do so after the contact has been given access to the digital vault. You will always be alerted that a contact has requested access so that you can block access if you wish.

The SharedAffairs team takes security very seriously because we know how sensitive the information placed in these digital vaults is. The system is designed to be secure so that only you can see the contents of your digital vaults until you allow them to unlock. The sign-in process is secured with two-factor authentication using the One Time Passcode (OTP) every time you sign in.

In line with industry best practice, your passwords and the contents of your digital vaults are encrypted so that even we cannot see them. You have the option to select extra security for your digital vaults to ensure that if anyone should get access to your phone or computer, they still won’t be able to t look inside your digital vaults without knowing your password.

We use the same security principles, technology and systems that are used by the banking industry to protect against any attack. We continually monitor and review the strength of our security processes. We only ask that you keep your password safe, do not write it down and change it if you feel that someone might know what it is. You can read more about our Security processes here.

"Contacts will wait" is the time that any contact will wait after requesting access to a digital vault and before that digital vault will open. In the meantime, we will automatically alert you that your assigned contact has asked for the vault to be opened. This gives you the opportunity to block your contact’s access request. This is set to one week by default and you can set this time to be anything from two hours upwards.

“Alert me every” ‘is the time period between each alert that we automatically send you to inform you that a digital vault will open if you don’t block it. You can set this value to be anything from 1 hour upwards, as long as it is less than the "Contacts will wait" time period described above.

You may decide that if anything happens to you, some information is more urgent for your family and friends to get hold of (such as funeral arrangements or medical decisions such as organ donation) whilst other information (such as your will or finance details) is not as urgent but more sensitive, and important for them to have only if they wait a few days giving you a chance to block any requests to access it.

You can decide how long you want your contacts to wait for any particular digital vault to open depending on the information you place within it and how long you want to have a chance to block it in case of an unexpected request to open the digital vault.

This refers to information in digital vaults that have been assigned to you by the contact who is the owner of that information. You will have been invited by that contact and you will have accepted the invitation before you can see any digital vaults that they have shared with you. As a contact, you can see the name and description of the digital vault that is shared with you, and also how long that digital vault will take to open (after you request for it to be opened) and how many other contacts are assigned to that digital vault, but not who they are.

If something happens to your contact and you therefore decide to request for that digital vault to be opened, it will start the time delay period count down. The digital vault owner will immediately be alerted that you have requested access. The information owner can block the request any time, but if the request is not blocked before the time delay counts down to zero, the contents will be visible to you and all other contacts assigned to that digital vault until the owner blocks the digital vault.

In order to open a digital vault, you need tofind the digital vault under your “Shared with you” section and use the “request to access” button. The digital vault will start unlocking, and the time delay period will start counting down. The owner will be alerted that you have requested access and he/she can block the request at any point. If the request is not blocked before the time delay counts down to zero, the digital vault will unlock, giving you access to its contents.

You will only see any files in an open vault if the owner uploaded any files into it. If you gain access to a digital vault that is empty, that means the owner hasn’t yet uploaded any information.

Yes, you can. Once the owner blocks an access request, the vault becomes locked again ready for any of its assigned contacts to request it be opened.

You can delete your account from the ‘account settings’ page. Click on your profile and scroll down to the Delete Account section, and click the orange Delete button.