Estate planning in an age where everything is digital is a unique kind of challenge. While you may have quick access to reports about your finances or easy access to images or receipts, it can still be tricky to make sure everything is just right in your estate plan.
With digital technology the way it is today, it’s important to talk to your attorney about your digital assets, how you store your information and other facts about digital technology, and how it could affect your estate planning. Here is more information about holding digital accounts and how you might want to store those accounts for your heirs and beneficiaries.
If you hold digital accounts, it’s time to identify them all
If you have digital accounts like stock portfolios, bank accounts, credit cards or others, it’s necessary for you to write each and every one of those down. You should have a list of the log-in information as well as passwords for those sites or accounts. Social media accounts should be included on this list.
Why keep track of them like this? If you pass away or are no longer able to care for yourself, your guardian or executor may need to have access to these accounts. While they can get into them in other ways, such as by submitting documentation to companies to show that they’re in charge of your estate, it’s much easier if you leave that information behind for them.
Focus on how you store your information, too
How you store your information also matters. If you created that list of passwords, IDs and accounts, you should print it out and keep it somewhere safe, like a safe deposit box or home safe. It’s not a great idea to email that information or to keep it on a computer that is connected to a network, since that information could then be stolen more easily.
Remember to let your executor know about security questions and special provisions you’ve set up, too. They should be included in this conversation, so they know where to find this information when they need it.
Your attorney can help you by keeping copies of this information with your estate plan or by having that conversation with your executor or other parties. Doing so is one of the best ways to help protect your digital assets and information.