Creating And Protecting Your Legacy

How to include online information in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2021 | Estate Planning |

You probably store financial information or other vital data on your computer, a hard drive or perhaps in a digital cloud. With passwords and other security, you may feel good about keeping your data secure. But after your death, your estate executor may need that information.

Imagine what could happen if your executor does not know your online usernames or passwords. The result could be a frustrating search to find a way to access your files. Fortunately, if you explain how to access your digital information in your estate plan, you might avoid dragging out the probate process.

Record your login information

US News and World Report explain that people who make their estate plans may create a separate record that lists usernames and passwords. You may then take this record and place it somewhere your heirs or your executor can get to. Be careful about storing it in a place that may be hard to access like a bank safe deposit box.

The digital accounts you list on your record should be anything you want your executor or heirs to access. These may include your financial accounts, your social media accounts and your emails. You should also list specific computers and flash drives you own and how to find them.

Explain your wishes for your digital assets

Your executor might experience probate delays if you do not explain what to do with certain digital assets. You may own intellectual property like an audio-visual digital file, website content or something else that is available through a digital format. If so, you should create an estate plan that lists what will happen to your digital assets such as any of the following:

  • Websites
  • Digital photos and images
  • Word documents
  • Presentations
  • Anything else stored digitally

The fewer digital assets you overlook in your estate plan, the better. You may shave days or even weeks off probate by being as detailed as you can.