Yes, You Need a Digital Estate Plan
If You Spend Time Online, You Should Read This
Online bank accounts, digital purchase accounts (like PayPal or Amazon), social networking sites—you most likely have at least one of these accounts.
What do they have in common? They are all password-protected.
While numerous services can safely secure your passwords in an online vault, they can be limited. In many instances, some online terms of service may prevent you from transferring accounts to other people. There is also the consideration: What if the online security company goes out of business?
Storing your passwords in your will is not a good idea either, as passwords often change. In addition, a will becomes public record, potentially putting your assets at risk. A safer option is to draft a separate document that includes your online accounts, usernames, passwords, and security questions and answers.
Not sure where to begin when getting your digital estate in order? Here are four steps that you can take to get organized.
4 Steps to Organizing Your Digital Estate
- Identify all of your online assets—email, Facebook, PayPal, bank accounts, etc.
- List the usernames, passwords, and security questions and answers, along with the accounts on a computer spreadsheet that can be easily updated. The list should be stored on a USB flash drive, or you could print it and place it in a safe location such as a fireproof safe or safe-deposit box.
- Share the location of your list with a trusted person, such as your spouse or a loyal friend.
- Meet with an estate planning attorney to give them a copy of your list and to create a plan that will allow for an easy transfer of your digital estate to your heirs.
Is your computer password-protected? As more of us store important documents electronically, it is vital to include your computer’s password in any list of digital assets.
Time for an Update?
While planning your digital estate is important, it is wise to check on other aspects of your estate plan to ensure that it will be distributed as you intend. Contact Paula J. Eichenbrenner, MBA, CAE at 703.684.2600 ext. 605 or email@example.com today if you are interested in including a gift to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Foundation in your plan.
Published in AMCP Foundation’s planned giving newsletter, Aligning Tomorrow’s Pathways, January 2022.