There are 40 Million immigrants currently living in the US. Most of them have families in their countries of origin. If you think about Western Union and other cross boarder payment services, you realize what a huge infrastructure supports those long distance relationships…
But what happens when a parent or loved one dies back in the old country? Frequently the answer is a mountain of paperwork and administrative maneuvering that is both tedious and complex at the same time. If it’s difficult to execute an estate in the US, the issues are magnified exponentially by international law and bureaucracy.
Our interviewee KD told us about his experience when his father passed away in India. He highlighted several specific difficulties
- Identifying all the assets. KD’s father was a successful entrepreneur and investor. Subsequently he had accounts, assets, and loans everywhere… with no current catalog. This left KD and his elderly mother to figure all this out after his passing. They had a catalog once, but it quickly became outdated as KDs father moved things around on an almost annual basis. KD wished there was just some simple way to catalog all the important assets online that could be updated easily so he at least knew where to find them.
- Transfer of assets into his name was a nightmare. Since he is now as US citizen, the document requirements are much higher for him to be placed as a co-owner on his mother’s assets. There was no easy way to do this. Then once the assets were in his name they had to be reported to the IRS. He said that he would have paid $10,000 for someone to take care of this for him.
- This lead to a lengthy discussion about the advantages of streamlined legal processing online. He would love to send all his documents to one place so that they are scanned secure and can be easily updated without the pain of visiting an attorney in person. There’s an opportunity in just the document handling.
Did we just discover another potential market segment for a specialized type of EOL service? Could be. KD mentioned that he has many friends in the Bay Area with parents overseas that would be willing to pay high dollar amounts for white glove service. Yet he also validated our scalable online hypothesis. At the very least, their are a handful of high quality leads for attorneys who handle cross boarder estate issues.
I’m highly encouraged.