Digital property management: Do you use email, online banking and brokerage accounts? Do you have social and business network pages, blog or Twitter accounts? What happens to these accounts if you become incapacitated or pass away?
Every attorney I’ve asked had the same response: Digital assets will pass like any other assets under the estate or will. But what happens until letters of appointment are issued or a court order is received compelling the website to grant access or turnover the contents of email accounts which could take days to even months? Few states have passed any laws specifically dealing with these issues (Connecticut has, but only deals with the “contents” of email accounts).
A simple solution is to list your accounts and passwords on a form, update when necessary and leave a copy in your vault/safe with a copy with your attorney. Another approach is to copy and update the form to a flash drive to be left in your safe. Some website service providers now act as digital asset keepers (but I have not used any so I can’t suggest any).
I can suggest that you discuss the issue with your estate attorney (who might suggest an addendum to your Will appointing an “online executor”). For a Simple Digital Asset Inventory form in MS Word, shoot me an email request.
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