As technology continues to evolve and people manage a greater number of their assets and personal lives online, it has become prudent to consider your digital assets and web presence when crafting a Last Will and Testament. Take a moment and think about all of the items that are stored on your computer or online. Chances are that you have pictures, videos, documents (both personal and work related), music and books stored on your computer or tablet. Additionally, you likely have multiple e-mail addresses, social networking accounts, bill payment accounts and shopping accounts such as Amazon or Ebay. Finally, you may even have a personal website, an online investment account or an online business.
What, then should you do with these accounts and assets when it comes to estate planning? It is important that you have an inventory of all of your digital content and assets. This inventory should include usernames and passwords as well as security questions and answers. You want the executor of your will or your successors to be able to access this information easily if you pass. If you are concerned about the security of such a list, there are a number of online password storage services available that will securely store your information. A capable attorney will craft your Will in a way that references the list without including it in the Will itself as it becomes a public document after it is filed with the Court. In addition, he or she will be able to instruct you on how to keep the inventory safe until it is needed.
It is clear that as people manage more and more of their assets online that estate planning documents will have to evolve to address these issues. Unfortunately, this area of law is fairly new and executors and successors can run into some complications with various websites’ terms of service. However, it is clearly better to anticipate the fact that your successors will have to confront your online presence after your death and providing them with the tools to do so is extremely important. If you do not currently have a Will or have one, but the document does not address these issues, contact the family law attorneys at Gusty Sunseri & Associates, P.C. for a consultation.