Chayet & Danzo, LLC

Call for a Free Initial Consultation

Direct 303-872-5980
Toll-Free 888-472-1088
Email Us

Compassion, talent and dedication:
guiding colorado families and Their Trusted Advisors During Times of Need

Protecting online information an integral part of any estate plan

When it comes to creating a will, most people end up focusing on their bank accounts and tangible assets. They decide how to distribute their money, what to do with their home and who should get certain meaningful items of personal property.

However, in this modern age, this is no longer enough. So many important things exist on the computer and online, and it is therefore extremely important to consider these digital assets when creating an estate plan.

Online financial information

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when making a digital estate plan is access to online banking and investment accounts. If you are not receiving paper statements, your loved ones may have no way to access – or even know about – your accounts once you pass away.

Many people assume that their executors will be able to find everything they need so long as they can access the computer. However, this is rarely the case. It is important for every person to make a list of all of their online accounts and the login information required to access them. This list should be updated whenever an account is created or closed, or whenever a password is changed.

There are a number of options for ensuring that this information gets passed on. Some people may feel comfortable sharing their list with the person they have designated as their executor. Others who desire more privacy may prefer to store the information in a safe deposit box or to provide a copy to the attorney who maintains their estate plan.

Other digital assets

Financial accounts aren’t the only assets to consider, though. Email accounts may contain correspondence that will be meaningful to a person’s survivors. (Or, conversely, messages that a person would really prefer to keep secret!) Social networking accounts like Facebook or Instagram likely contain stores of pictures that loved ones would like to download and keep. It is important to decide who will have access to these accounts and to give direction on what should be done with them.

The estate planning process is even more complicated for photographers, graphic designers, writers, entrepreneurs or anyone else who stores their work product or business information in digital form. These assets may have significant financial worth in addition to whatever sentimental value they hold. Failing to give direction as to how these assets should be handled may cause a person’s loved ones to wind up fighting or involved in litigation.

Working with an attorney

These are only a few of the many issues involved in protecting digital assets. If you have not yet made arrangements to protect your online accounts and personal information, it is advisable to make an appointment to discuss the issue with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Contact Our Firm

Co-Counsel Services for
settling of Personal Injury and Divorce Cases

Read More

Important intake forms

Prepare for your Meeting

Our Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Read Weekly Updates

Join our mailing list

Sign up here

Recent Blog Posts

Is an irrevocable or revocable trust best for your needs?

A person who has assets to pass down to their heirs and beneficiaries can sometimes do that in a will. However, many people opt to use trusts because they can bypass the probate system. The individual who creates the trust can set certain terms for the disbursement by...

3 reasons you might need a guardianship to support a loved one

The idea of a guardianship makes many people feel uneasy. Plenty of concerned and loving adult children of aging parents delay seeking a likely necessary guardianship because they don't want to limit their parents' independence or damage their relationship. It is easy...

What exactly is “legacy planning?”

Legacy planning refers to planning for leaving behind not only assets and inheritances but also life lessons, personal values and memories. Legacy planning is unique because it involves much more than what you’ve earned and the legal matters that have to be attended...

Protect your elderly loved one with these 4 tips

Whether your elderly loved one is living at home or in a nursing home, they are going to be exposed to scams and situations where others try to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the elderly to be taken advantage of, so it’s important for...

New parents need to look at their estate plan

Having a new child is a high point in a parent’s life, but it’s also a time when careful planning becomes a priority. One thing that new parents need to think about is their estate plan. Even if they already had one, it will probably need to be changed so that they...