Most people do not consider making plans for their digital assets so that their loved ones and estate executor can access them after they die. But in this digital age of social media and online accounts, it is becoming increasingly essential to store your account passwords in order for family members and executors to locate them. While passwords can be stored using a password manager, other assets, including family photographs and movies, can be uploaded to a file-hosting service, such as Dropbox, which facilitates the sharing of documents.
It may seem like a daunting and time-consuming process to organize all of your digital assets, but if someone is unable to find them, they can vanish. Some digital assets may be valuable, and if no one is aware of how to locate them, much time and money may be expended in trying to find them. Prior to the digital age, account statements or bills could be discovered by going through mail deliveries. But now, since many people choose to receive paperless statements via email, important financial documents may only be accessed via computers or the cloud.
Additionally, there are other assets, including digital currencies, video game characters and website domain names that are present only in cyberspace. Thus, loved ones and executors may fail to notice them. They may also find themselves unable to access social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, because of the laws relevant to user privacy that govern such sites. There are some online companies that will not give access to third parties. Therefore, the only way that an executor or family member can gain access to those sites is if the deceased person provided them with the passwords.
It is advisable to take an inventory of all of your online accounts, but to exclude them from your will, which should not be modified frequently. People often make changes to their online account information. Indicate how you would like each account to be handled in the event of your death. You can store the inventory in an encrypted file, safe or with your attorney.