Frequently Asked Questions

For Registered Vault Owners

Q. Am I allowed to give my password to my spouse?
Alberta Virtual Vault strongly encourages Vault Owners to keep their passwords strictly confidential. You may choose to share your password, but please be aware that all of the activity related to your vault would be recorded as your activity.

Q. What documents of proof do you accept for death or incapacitation?

Q. Can my Appointed Representative access information in my vault during an emergency (one not considered severe enough to be classed as incapacitation)?
To maintain the confidentiality and security of all information within Alberta Virtual Vault, only the owner has access to the information in his or her vault until proof of the owner's incapacitation or death is presented.

Q. I see my vault status is listed as "Normal" on my profile. What other status options are there for my vault?
"Normal" indicates the owner's vault is operating under usual conditions. Upon proof of your incapacitation or death, the status will reflect your altered status. For example, on your death it would read "Deceased".

Q. Is my choice of Appointed Representative limited to individuals with email? If so, why?
Yes. Email is the 21st century standard means of contacting individuals world-wide, at any time of day. In order to ensure Alberta Virtual Vault can quickly advise your Appointed Representative(s) that information is available for them upon your incapacitation or death, we must have an email address where they can be reached.

Q. When I am adding documents to my vault, do the documents have to be in PDF or zipped formats? I would like to consider formats including MS Word, GIFs, Excel, video formats, etc.
You can add documents in virtually any format available to you. We strongly recommend, however, that you limit your formats to common applications such as PDFs or MS Word to ensure that the format can still be opened by your Appointed Representative(s) years from now when they need the information.

Q. Can the Alberta Virtual Vault administrators look at the information in my vault?
No. The Alberta Virtual Vault Administrators have no access to the contents of your vault at any time.

Q. How do I cancel my vault?
To delete your vault, while you are logged in simply click the "Delete Vault" link at the bottom of My Profile. You will only be able to see this as a Vault Owner. Follow the prompts. The system will offer two warnings when you take this action to ensure that you do not accidentally delete your vault and its contents.

Q. Is there a minimum or maximum number of Appointed Representatives allowed?
While a Vault Owner is not required to appoint any representative(s), Alberta Virtual Vault strongly advises you to choose at least one person who will be responsible for tending to your affairs upon your incapacitation or death. Having your important information in one location - your vault - makes a stressful time easier, more convenient and quicker for your Appointed Representative(s) to take action on your behalf, according to your instructions. Alberta Virtual Vault allows for as many Appointed Representatives as you want. Please consider, however, that the more individuals you have either managing your affairs or concluding your estate, the more potential there is for inefficiencies or misunderstandings to occur.

Q. I have named my son as my only Appointed Representative, with access to my vault information only after I become physically or mentally incapacitated, or after my death. I worry, though, that his view of my mental condition when I get older and my view of my capabilities may differ. Would he be able to access the information in my vault if he thinks I am no longer mentally competent to look after my own affairs?
Absolutely not. Alberta Virtual Vault requires proof of the Vault Owner's mental or physical incapacitation before your Appointed Representative is given access. Your son would be required to present a completed Alberta Declaration of Incapacity to Alberta Virtual Vault; this declaration must be filled in by both your son and either an Alberta physician or psychologist.

Q. My Appointed Representatives need my Death Certificate in order to get access to the information in my vault. Government of Alberta guidelines are very specific about who is allowed to order a Death Certificate. My Appointed Representatives are not my next of kin and not my executor - and my next of kin are not likely to give them written authorization. Would the provincial guidelines allow them to get the Death Certificate they need to get the access I have requested for them?
If someone is not your next of kin, they must have written authorization from your next of kin to order a Death Certificate through a Registry Agency. Funeral Director's Statement of Death is provided by the funeral home and several copies are given to the next of kin at the time of the funeral.

Q. The vault includes specific spaces for a will and a lawyer. Do I have to have a will and lawyer in order to set up a vault?
No, you don't need any specific documents or a lawyer before becoming an Alberta Virtual Vault Owner.

Q. How do I renew my vault?
You will be sent an email notice near the expiry date of your vault (whether your vault is a 5 year vault or a 1 year vault). This email notice will include instructions on how to renew your vault. You will be able to choose from a 5 year renewal at $49.95 or a 1 year renewal at $14.95.

Q. What happens if I do not renew my vault when my vault expires?
If you choose not to renew your vault, your account will become frozen and you will not be able to access the documents in your account. Your vault will remain intact for 5 years, at which time, if you have not renewed your vault, your vault and its contents will be deleted from our system.

Q. Can I upload my photos directly from Photoshop Elements or other similar programs?
No. You have to save your photos to your desktop first and upload them from there.

Try Before You Buy

Take Virtual Vault for a test drive

  • 50 MB of initial storage capacity
  • Store documents in various formats
  • Ongoing audit trail of your transactions
  • Free!