In today's digital age, online passwords are something a great many people here in Michigan use on a regular basis. There are all manner of different password-protected online accounts a person can have. Some such accounts are financial accounts.
For many, online passwords are something that are used so often that they are something they don't really give much thought to. However, it can be important to not forget about the passwords of one's online financial accounts when it comes to estate planning.
Not knowing the passwords of a deceased person's financial accounts is one of the things that can make the process of distributing a deceased person's financial assets in the way directed by the deceased person's estate plan more difficult and complicated for an administrator of a deceased person's estate. Thus, one of the things a person may want to include with their estate planning documents is a list of the passwords for their financial accounts and other online accounts so that the future administrator of their estate will have this list. As with other aspects of estate planning, keeping such a list properly updated is important.
Another concern that the digital age can raise for a person when it comes to estate planning is: what will happen with my digital assets (such as photos, documents and videos on social media sites or other online accounts) when I die? Thus, digital assets are something a person may want to consider putting terms about in their will. One thing to note though is that the enforceability of such terms might not always be a sure thing, as many states do not have estate planning laws directly dealing with online digital assets.
The digital age has brought all sorts of different changes in our world. These changes raise unique concerns in all different areas of law. As our above discussion illustrates, the area of estate planning is no exception to this. Michiganders who have questions about estate planning issues regarding digital assets and online accounts should consider taking their questions to an estate planning lawyer.
Source: MainStreet, "Why Your Estate Planning Should Include Your Facebook Page As Well," Jason Notte, Jan. 7, 2015