Leave Your Loved Ones a Digital Roadmap

Lindsay M. Harris, JD
Leave Your Loved Ones a Digital Roadmap Harris Law Co

We store everything about our lives online.  The ability to house individual accounts on a laptop or phone is considered a modern-day convenience, and each account and device has its own password. To loved ones in the aftermath of a death, it can be particularly difficult to navigate and settle a person’s financial and non-financial affairs after they die, especially while in an emotional state.  How can you help your loved ones? Leave them a digital roadmap (…but don’t add them to your accounts unless recommended by your estate planning attorney. Doing so has other unexpected consequences.).

Your Roadmap Starts with a List

As you prepare a list of your digital assets and devices, add to your inventory the password you use to access each account. 

Accounts we think about:

  • Checking & Savings Accounts
  • Retirement Accounts (401k, IRA, Pension)
  • Investment Accounts (CDs, Mutual Funds, Stocks)
  • Mortgage
  • Life Insurance
  • Burial Plans
  • Utilities: Gas, Electric, Phone, Cable

Accounts we overlook:

  • Digital Wallets (Venmo, Paypal)
  • Online Photo Storage
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Domain Registrations (GoDaddy or other domain providers)
  • Online File Storage
  • Online Music Storage
  • Online Portals with your Accountant/CPA or Attorney
  • Online Medical Portals
  • Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency
  • Airline Miles
  • Access to your Phone / iCloud / or other cloud server

If you have a Seller’s Account, such as Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, leave instructions for your loved ones about what to do with your store.  You may not be able to decide what happens to the account itself, but you should be able to designate all of the profits that come in through your Trust—this way you can avoid probate court.  Find out if your account is transferable by checking your agreement with the individual company.

Leaving clear instructions about what to do and how to access your online accounts will be enormous help to your loved ones.  If you need help getting your Will or Trust together, call us at 605-777-1772 or email us at info@HarrisLawCo.com to schedule a no-cost initial meeting. Let us guide your loved ones through your roadmap.

*This blog is for general informational purposes and is not intended to give legal advice. Please consult with an attorney about your situation.

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