Why It’s Important for Your Personal Representative to Have Access to Your Digital Assets

Why It’s Important for Your Personal Representative to Have Access to Your Digital Assets

Today’s estate plans must consider digital as well as physical assets. Digital assets include online bank accounts, email accounts, social media profiles, photo storage accounts, apps, blogs, web domains and any other digital file or account.

It is imperative to provide your personal representative with access to these assets. Without such access, he or she will not be able to complete the following tasks:

  • Modify, update or delete any of your social media profiles
  • Terminate your online subscriptions
  • Pay bills online, including utilities and insurance
  • Obtain email addresses and other contact information from your online accounts or devices
  • Update your websites or blogs or take them offline
  • Access your cloud-based storage
  • Any other tasks that require access to your digital files

Unfortunately, most states do not yet have laws in place that give personal representatives the authority to demand access to these accounts on their own. Many companies have very tight control over who they let access these accounts. It can be a long, drawn-out process to get access even when the representative has proof of your death.

Therefore, the best way forward is to simply leave behind a list of your online/digital assets and their access information to your personal representative. You can create a single document with usernames, passwords and any other helpful information to help your personal representative resolve any issues with these assets and any documents that might be useful or otherwise important to have.

To learn more about how to deal with your digital assets in your estate plan, contact a skilled Tampa estate planning attorney with BaumannKangas Estate Law.