With the continued growth and expansion of the internet, we are seeing an increase in the number of online accounts set up for people’s work, social and personal affairs. The effect from an estate planning viewpoint is that, when someone dies, he/she leaves behind a number of online accounts that may require management by his/her legal representative. Because such accounts are secured by passwords, the legal representative is unable to access them unless arrangements have been made before death. In addition, given that this is a relatively new concept to estate planning, there have been no rights established at law to grant a legal representative access to such accounts. The result is that there is little a legal representative can do to manage the online accounts without the ability to obtain passwords.
We are in the process of establishing a system for clients to secure password information and allow same to be accessed by their legal representatives after death. Please give us a call if you would like to discuss this further.