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Giving someone access to my digital accounts

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2019 | Estate Planning

In addition to the changes in digital assets, there have been changes to how you access your accounts. First, there was a minimum number of letters, then there needed to be a number; now the recommendation is to use a phrase instead of a word.

After you decide who will handle your digital assets after you pass away, you will have to create a plan for how that person will access your accounts.

Here’s what to keep in mind as you plan for your loved one to manage your digital accounts.

An updated list of passwords

For some of your accounts, you may have had the same login information for years; for others, you may have to change your password every couple of months. You should maintain your usernames and passwords with either paper list or via a password manager platform and update it every time something changes.

While it may seem convenient to keep your updated list out on your desk or in your bag with your laptop, you should keep the information secure. Keep your list in a safe or a locked drawer to make sure no one has access to it, but make sure your account manager knows where to find the information they need.

Don’t make your loved one a “hacker”

Different online accounts have different methods for dealing with the death of an account holder. In some cases, even if you gave your loved one permission and access, logging into your account after your death could be seen as an attempt to hack into your account.

Make sure your estate plan is clear about who will have access to your digital account, how they will obtain that access and what that person should do with the account after your death.

Check your account’s features

Some accounts have features that allow you to add an account manager or guardian after you pass away. In the case of social media, some accounts allow for a legacy holder to continue to post updates or facilitate memories and condolences.

Check what steps you need to complete so that your loved one has access to these features. For some accounts, this will save you the trouble of tracking the login information. These features may also be available if you are no longer healthy enough to access your account.