If you’re like many people, you have a lot of passwords associated with various websites, programs, or even files. You may also have online bank accounts, stock trading accounts, personal sites, and any number of digital properties of one kind or another. Like all your other property, you should make sure you’ve included your digital property in your estate plan.
Step 1: Inventory. Develop a list of all your digital property: whether it’s your Facebook account, online bill paying accounts, or your monthly online credit card bills. Come up with a list of all your digital properties and keep a special section for those that are bills or other obligations you have to manually pay.
Step 2: Access List. Write down all your passwords, user names, answers to identity questions, etc. You should also have your email address and information included so your fiduciary or estate administrator can reset the passwords if necessary.
Step 3: Secure Storage. Once you have your list, it’s very important to keep it safe and secure. A bank safety deposit box or similar secure storage area is ideal.
Step 4: Transfer. Have a financial power of attorney ready to go in case you are incapacitated. Give your agent the ability to access your list and make sure your responsibilities are met. Make sure your agent is someone you trust. You should also make provisions for your digital assets in your Will.