Monday, April 29, 2013
As I have previously discussed
, many people are realizing the difficulties with digital asset management after death. It is wise to include any on-line presence in the estate planning process. Not doing so may make you vulnerable to identity theft after your death. Additionally, it may cause challenges in settling debts and recovering family photos or momentos. Moreover, some digital assets hold value such as domain names and music libraries. Each on-line provider has terms and restrictions that may challenge executors or heirs who are trying to settle debts. Some providers have a process to give relatives access, but it is usually long and requires a court order. Another obstacle that planners face is the federal law. Using relative's passwords may be against the law depending on the jurisdiction. It might be a good idea to make a list of all your on-line accounts with your login and password information and keep it in a safety deposit box.
See Eleanor Laise, Protect Digital Assets After Your Death, Kiplinger, May 2013.