Apr 28, 2010

Write Down Those Passwords, Appoint a Digital Executor

When someone dies, it can be really difficult, if not impossible, to get into their electronic accounts: bank accounts, email accounts, social networking accounts, you name it. One of the last things that my father remembered to scribble down on a notepad was the password to the computer he was leaving my kids. I'd remembered to get his social security number, safe deposit box key, life insurance certificates, and bank records....but I hadn't thought of his password!

Here's a few good tips for those of you with precious digital archives,  The Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof. Blog:

  • Make a list of all of your online accounts and passwords. Decide which ones should be deleted and which ones will pass to your heirs. 
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  • Nominate an executor for your digital accounts. There are companies that specialize in the handling and passing on of this information. 
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  • Include your digital assets and the appointment of your digital executor in your will.
  • For more information on organizing your records to make it easier for your family to track down your important accounts and paperwork, see Get It Together, by Melanie Cullen and Shae Irving (Nolo).