In today’s world, an estate plan must be more than just crafting a will. With technology at everyone’s fingertips, if an individual dies without disseminating their online accounts and passwords, most of the information within these accounts may be lost forever. While estate planning attorneys may have different recommendations for how to handle the protection of digital assets, this process does not need to be as stressful as it seems. Below are steps and advice for how to secure a loved one’s digital information and include it in the estate plan.
Share Account Information with Loved Ones via a Password Manager
It is understandable that individuals do not want to be sending other people their password information while they are alive, as the accounts are still being utilized. However, it is important that loved ones know this information, so when the person passes away, they can access it. This is especially critical for accounts like financing or bank accounts, or the password to the individual’s phone so loved ones can notify others about the person’s passing.
There is specific password manager software that families utilize that stores all account logins and other information they want securely hidden. While the software contains all of the login and password information for the individual’s accounts, they need only remember a single master password to set up the account and access these digital assets.
Record Emergency Information
Besides securely saving passwords and account information, individuals going through the estate planning process should also record emergency information for loved ones to access. This information includes locations of valuables and important papers—like legal documents that are difficult to otherwise get copies of—and details about recurring bills. While other emergency information, such as instructions in case of death, are often included in a will, these details tend to be overlooked and not included in other estate planning documents.
Individuals can put this information in a note in a password manager software, in an Excel sheet, or write the details down and keep it in a secure place. Regardless of which option they choose, the person should inform a trusted loved one (or two) where this information is stored, in case they become incapacitated or pass away.
Because planning ahead is critical, individuals who have not secured their digital assets should reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney to help them with this process.
Contact a Colorado Estate Planning Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you or a loved one needs assistance in developing an estate plan, contact the attorneys at the Braverman Law Group. Our Boulder estate planning attorneys have decades of experience advising clients about their estate plans, crafting and revising plans—including incorporating digital assets into a plan. We are here to answer any questions you may have about estate planning and will ensure you have an estate plan in place that best meets your needs. For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys, give us a call today at (303) 800-1588.