Colorado Estate Planning Blog

Friday, April 1, 2016

Digital Assets

What should you do about passwords, usernames and security questions?

        It is important to figure out what needs to be preserved, what can be left to lapse, and who should be able to access these various accounts. There are a number of cloud storage sites where you can store your passwords, and then you only need to give someone the password to access that information. Alternatively, you can leave the password to access your personal information in a safe deposit box or with your attorney. 

        My clients have a binder with forms that provide a means for leaving such information with their will and/or trust. Dealing with digital property is still in its infancy, and technology is ever changing, so there are no perfect solutions. But you can explore the options and pick the one you are most comfortable with for now.

        Facebook recently added a “Legacy Contact” setting.  If you go to Settings, Security and click on Legacy Contact, you can name a person to take over your Facebook page.  Facebook says “A legacy contact is someone you choose to manage your account after you pass away. They'll be able to do things like pin a post on your Timeline, respond to new friend requests, and update your profile picture. They won't post as you or see your messages.”

        Remember, too, that you want to make things easy for those who step into your shoes. In a time of crisis (say because of your illness or death), it would be better if your trusted advisors or loved ones didn’t need a pricey computer consultant or the 14-year-old next door looking over their shoulder.

        The bottom line is that you need to organize your electronic financial records securely and give access to the person you have designated in your estate planning documents.  Don't forget to let them know where that information can be found!


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