Virginia residents often rely on their online accounts and mobile devices to manage important assets. Of course, managing an online account requires having access to digital passwords. While estate owners need to protect their passwords in order to preserve privacy and defend against theft, it's also important to think about how accounts will be managed in cases of death or incapacity.
When a spouse unexpectedly passes away, it can be difficult for the surviving spouse to gain access to important financial information, especially if there was no clear plan in place to transfer digital assets. Analysts note that missing information has always been an issue for the survivors of estate owners. However, it has become more challenging as more people rely on online assets to manage their assets. In fact, surviving spouses may not even be aware of all of the digital accounts that exist. In some cases, people can gain access through court orders or by presenting a death certificate. However, even this can be challenging if there are cryptocurrency accounts or overseas digital assets involved.
When preparing a will and powers of attorney, an estate owner should also think about how to share their digital assets. Financial planners advise keeping a written record of important passwords and storing it somewhere secure so that it can be located in an urgent situation.
Making an estate plan can be an important way to protect loved ones, even after death. An estate planning attorney can help a client develop a comprehensive plan that includes a will, trusts and other key documents.