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Passwords and estate planning

Yesterday was World Password Day. This day is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of strong passwords when it comes to cyber-security. So, passwords are something that might be fresh on a lot of people’s minds right now.

In today’s world, online passwords can control access to all manner of accounts and important documents for a person. So, ensuring that the wrong people don’t get your passwords is critical, hence the importance of strong passwords and good password security.

However, it can also be important for a person to make sure that, when they pass away, the right people will have access to their passwords.

When a person passes away and they have provided no way for their personal representative or similar individuals to get access to the passwords to their online accounts, it could greatly complicate the post-death handling of their affairs. It could make it very difficult for a person’s personal representative and family to access the accounts, information and documents they need to properly follow through on the person’s after-death wishes.

So, password access can be an important thing for a person to think about in their estate planning. There a variety of different methods a person could use to try to ensure the right people will have access to their passwords when they pass away.

Password access is one of the many areas in estate planning in which a person has many choices regarding what route to take. Others includes what types of estate planning mechanisms to have and what terms to include in ones will, trusts or other estate planning devices. The decisions a person makes when such choices come up can impact how likely what actually happens with the post-death handling of their affairs conforms to what they want to have happen. Skilled estate planning lawyers can advise individuals on what options they have when it comes to key estate planning choices and what options would be most in-tune with their overall goals.

Sources: TechRepublic, “On World Password Day, here are 4 tips to keep your online accounts secure,” Connor Forrest, May 4, 2017

FindLaw, “Estate Planning -- Keep Track of Passwords, Access Keys and PINs,” Accessed May 5, 2017

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