Your estate plan includes who will inherit your money, your home, family heirlooms and other valuable assets. But does it also include your social media passwords and ways to access the files you have uploaded into the cloud?
Your digital assets may be more valuable than you think, especially if you do your banking and handle your credit card online. If the executor of your estate cannot access these, hackers might eventually get into these accounts and steal money from your estate. Also, your photos, videos, recordings and other digital files could be lost.
Examples of online assets to protect
Here are some digital assets you should discuss with your estate planning attorney:
- Financial accounts
- Electronic communication, including email accounts and social media
- Digital collections that are loaded in a cloud-based drive
- Online rewards programs
Not all of these give access to substantial financial assets. But things like family photos and videos can have great sentimental value. If your executor does not have your IDs and passwords to these accounts, it can be difficult for them to convince social media and cloud storage companies that you have died and they need to collect these files. Including your passwords in your will can also make it much easier for the executor to close down your accounts after you die, if that is what you want.
Make sure your estate plan covers everything important to you
Besides your online assets being valuable in themselves, they are good examples of things to include in your estate plan that may not be immediately obvious. An experienced estate planning attorney knows what a truly detailed and thought-out estate plan looks like. They can walk you through the process so that nothing is accidentally excluded.