Online passwords are important to estate planning

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2019 | Estate Planning |

When people in Georgia ponder how to provide for their loved ones after they pass away, they may think about making a will or preparing other key estate documents. However, many people do not take into account the changing digital reality of many assets. From investment accounts to cryptocurrency wallets, online access is critical to many significant financial assets. In addition, there are many other aspects of online identity, including email accounts and social media profiles, which can often be important to daily life and communication.

Therefore, it can be equally important to develop a plan for digital assets as it is to make an estate plan for bank accounts and physical property like real estate. This can include making sure passwords are accessible to a person’s most trusted loved ones. Making a will is essential to passing on property after death, but power of attorney documents can also be critical to keeping financial accounts and operations going while a person is incapacitated. While it is usually possible for an authorized person to eventually gain access, providing passwords is often the fastest and best way for people to manage these accounts quickly, especially at a difficult and stressful time.

In other cases, such as cryptocurrency wallets, it may be extremely difficult for a beneficiary to access the account without the password information. Security experts advise that the passwords should be stored as a handwritten document on paper, not as a file on a computer connected to the internet. In addition, it is important to include device passcodes to allow access to phones and computers.

Developing an estate plan can be complex but important for ensuring peace of mind for a person’s loved ones. An estate planning attorney can provide guidance and draft key documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney.