Don’t forget your online accounts when creating an estate plan

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2019 | Estate Planning

You, like most other California residents, likely conduct at least a portion of your life online. These days, it seems like you can get an online account for just about anything, from grocery shopping to your retirement account. You may not feel the need to have everything you do completed online, but you still appreciate the convenience.

Of course, now that you are starting your estate plan, you do not want to forget those online accounts and other digital assets when you are creating that plan. You may not think your social media accounts need including in your estate plan, but really, they do.

What should you include?

It can be difficult to know exactly what to include in your estate plan regarding your online presence. As a result, you may want to start with an inventory of accounts you may have, such as:

  • Bank accounts
  • Forum accounts
  • Social media accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Emails
  • Subscriptions, such as newsletters or streaming services

You may have other accounts that coincide with specific personal interests you have, and those will likely need addressing as well. It is important to include these in your plan because certain accounts, like financial accounts, may hold assets that your surviving loved ones will need to access. Other accounts, like your social media accounts, may hold more of a sentimental value to loved ones if you have pictures or messages they would like to keep.

What information do your loved ones need?

In order to access your accounts, your executor or other party permitted to handle these accounts will need the following information:

  • Usernames
  • Passwords
  • Answers to security questions
  • Additional authentication steps

You may also need to go over the terms of service for certain sites because some have specific policies for handling the accounts of deceased individuals. Having this information may prevent complications for your loved ones later.

Your estate plan

If you have concerns about how to best include this information in your estate plan, you may want to go over your available options. It can be difficult to know the right way to express certain information regarding your end-of-life wishes, and having the right information is vital. Fortunately, California estate planning attorneys are available to help if you would like to discuss this topic and other matters pertaining to your wishes and your estate.



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