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Could your heirs identify, access your digital assets as needed?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2016 | Estate Administration & Probate

Are aspects relating to your so-called “digital assets” — which are likely expanding in seemingly exponential fashion — just about to drive you crazy? Are you having trouble simply keeping track of them?

If so, imagine what it would be like for your heirs attempting to locate and then access your various online accounts to deal with them appropriately after your death, in the event you have not helped them to do so through careful inventory and documentation.

Who doesn’t have an email account these days? In fact, who doesn’t have half a dozen to scores of online accounts relevant to things like banking, shopping, social interactions and myriad other activities?

Some people are methodical about keeping a list of usernames, passwords and other account identifiers accurate and updated and, importantly, readily accessible to specified parties in the event of incapacity or death.

Most of us, though, likely aren’t, right? How many people remind themselves many times each year to devote a day to the important task of rendering important online information understandable and available when it needs to be accessed by others?

And then don’t follow through?

A recent media focus on that subject stresses the vital importance of noting and accounting for digital assets in a modern-day estate plan. Failure to do so can result in an account somewhere residing in perpetual limbo, perhaps with money in it. An inability for an executor to find and deal appropriately with a digital account might result in that account being hacked, with clear downside implications.

These days, an experienced estate administration attorney will be sure to bring up the topic of digital assets with a planning client and help ensure that appropriate actions are taken to yield results regarding all digital accounts that the client wants to see realized.

A key goal of sound estate planning is to promote peace of mind. Dealing purposefully with online assets and accounts can go far toward achieving that objective.


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