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How Do I Grant Access to Online Accounts in My Estate Documents?

June 20, 2019

Filed under: Estate Planning — Laura Pennington @ 9:15 am

Any company with whom you have an online account probably has their own rules about how you can or can’t close or transfer on your account after you pass away. However, you might also wish to back up your plans for such a site in your own estate planning documents, too. How you list these is important for how the accounts will be handled.

In the event you want other people to have access to your online accounts once you’re no longer around, make sure you use the right language in your estate planning documents to reference lawful consent. This enables your account details to be properly disclosed to the people you choose.

Using a trust can help with this, since many modern trust documents include language authorizing the release of digital account details. You can talk with your estate planning lawyer about creating a digital access map so that all your online accounts are consolidated easily and have the relevant passwords stored there, too.

This process begins by you creating an inventory of all your important online accounts and which of these are password restricted. These could include:

  • The computer itself
  • Social media accounts
  • Online photo storage accounts
  • Email accounts
  • Bank and brokerage accounts
  • Online storage
  • Online electronic assistants and devices
  • Retail stores with your credit card information stored for easy purchase

It might take some time to pull together this list as people are living more complicated digital lives than ever before.

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