As our lives become ever increasingly virtual, digital assets, usernames and passwords become an increasingly important part of estate planning.
Think of all the time you spend on line. Think of all you accomplish online. If you become incapacitated or when you die, your trusted helpers and heirs will need access to:
- Financial accounts
- Email accounts
- Social media accounts
- Photo sharing accounts
- Address books
- Utility accounts
- Membership organizations
- Online software accounts
Think of the logistical mess if your trusted helpers (i.e. power of attorney agents, disability trustees, executors, and settlement trustees) can’t access these accounts to pay bills, close accounts, and access and save information.
- Bills could go unpaid
- Checks could bounce
- Balances on eBay or PayPal may go unclaimed
- Insurance policies may lapse
- Family photos may be lost
- Social networking sites will be inaccessible
- Use services such as “Legacy Locker” which holds valuable virtual and material world information like a virtual safe deposit box, accessible 24/7/365 for about $30 per year.
- Usernames, passwords, and account numbers
- Copies of social security cards, marriage certificates, adoption certificates, divorce decrees, estate planning documents, stock certificates, contracts, up to date financial asset list and statements, and the like
- Legacy love letters or video to those you love emailed in privacy after your death
There is no need to worry about fire, theft, or water damage because all of your important documents and information are stored online.
- Keep an up to date list of usernames, passwords, and accounts with your estate planning documents and other important papers.
If you have questions about managing your digital assets and ensuring your passwords are accessible to your trusted helpers, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.