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Do online passwords belong in your estate planning documents?

As you gather your documents and drafts of your final arrangements and plans to review, you realize how important digital access and accounting is for you. In this high tech and digital world, you probably have multiple online accounts, each utilizing a sometimes unique password to access.

What happens to those accounts when you die? Recently, a push to include digital access information in wills and other estate planning documents is gaining steam.

Not providing information makes access difficult

When your mother died last year, you went to the banks with the proper legal documentation to gain access to her accounts. However, if your mother had other accounts that did not have a physical location, you may not have known. If you do not provide all the information to your executor, some accounts may go unclaimed.

You want to protect your family

There is more to a digital footprint than just financial accounts. Email, social media, personal documents and photographs can all get lost in cyberspace if access is not granted. While you may not believe it is a big deal if your email or social media account goes cold, it is. Scammers can take over accounts and gain access to some of your most private information in an attempt to find and gain access to online funds.

You want to save your family the hassle

While having a password presents much easier and cleaner access, some companies will help if you do not. Large cyber companies such as Apple will grant you permission to a loved one's account upon presentation of a death certificate. However, this delays things and can cause quite a hassle.

Including your digital information in your estate planning documents makes things easier after you die. Instead of leaving your family to try to piece together your online presence, giving it to them saves them stress and time.

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Mccullough & Mccullough

Serving South Texas For Three Generations

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323 E. Jackson Street
Harlingen, TX 78550

Phone: 956-320-1320
Fax: 956-423-4976
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