Articles Tagged with Digital Accounts

Traditionally, a Houston estate plan has primarily focused on the distribution of tangible property upon a person’s death. However, now that we are firmly in the digital age it is important for everyone to consider how digital assets should be addressed in an estate plan. Digital assets and information include just about anything that is primarily accessed through a digital platform. Examples include social media accounts, email accounts, photos and videos stored on a computer or in the cloud, online banking and investment accounts, and even cryptocurrency.

How do Digital Assets tie into your Estate Plan?

It is important to spell out how such assets and information should be treated within an estate plan. Those who do not have a will leave their loved ones and estate administrators with no access to them. This could result in the permanent loss of data and information stored on an electronic device. With all of the memories we capture and store using our phones, that could be the equivalent of losing years’ worth of family memories. Perhaps even more alarming is the prospect of losing access to financial accounts that are primarily accessed through online banking. If an estate plan is silent about such assets, loved ones may have to put up with the headache and added expense of getting a court order just to access a decedent’s digital accounts and information.

Facebook logoFacebook offers a feature that will allow a designated person to have increased access to a Facebook account when its owner passes away. Facebook realizes there is a growing need to support those who are grieving the loss of a loved one and those who want a say in what happens to their account after death.

Facebook responded by launching a feature called: "Legacy Contact." This feature may help your loved ones through the grieving process in the event of your death and allows you to designate what will happen with your account upon passing.

If you are a Facebook user, you may want to go into your account now and designate your Legacy Contact to manage your account when you pass away. Here is how it works when someone passes away:

MP900442327“‘Do you have any important business online?’ That is now just as important of a conversation as asking somebody their health care preferences in a life-threatening situation.”

Leaving your digital accounts out of your Houston estate plan can prove to be a big, bad mistake.

Most digital accounts require passwords for access, even accounts we would not have considered as important even a decade ago.

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