If you are single, you may not think you need to plan your estate, but single people are in as much need of a plan as anyone...Read more
Online Services Offer Estate Planning for Digital Assets
- April 9th, 2013
Once upon a time, when life was less complicated, the key to a safe deposit box was all loved ones needed to gain access to important documents and accounts following a death. Today, many aspects of our lives -- both financial and personal -- are lived in places accessible only by password. We have e-mail addresses, Facebook and MySpace profiles, and accounts with PayPal, eBay, and online brokerages and banks. In addition, many people communicate regularly with people they know only through game or social networking sites.
When a person dies, access to these accounts and contacts can be lost or extremely difficult to retrieve. As a result, a small online industry has sprung up to help people pass on the digital keys to their online lives should they die or become disabled. Call it "digital estate planning" or creating a "virtual executor."
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Felinton Elder Law & Estate Planning Centers
Mindy Felinton concentrates in the areas of Medicaid planning, Veterans' Benefits, asset protection, nursing home planning, elder law, wills, estate planning, trusts, living wills, powers of attorney, probate administration and trust administration and began her legal career 30 years ago as an Assistant State Attorney...
Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Loretta Morris Williams is a certified elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Ms. Williams was admitted to the Council of Advanced Practitioners, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) in 2012. She serves as President of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Ms. Willia...
The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm PC
Bill founded The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. in 1994. Bill limits his practice to the areas of estate planning and administration, incapacity planning, Medicaid, asset protection planning, and elder law. He is one of (15) fifteen attorneys practicing in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, ce...
On a typical site, users sign up and pay an annual fee to upload everything from crucial online passwords to gym locker combinations into a private account. Upon the user's death or disability, the individuals they have designated to receive this private information are notified about how to open the account and access the information. These people may also receive final wishes and a farewell e-mail from the deceased. Some sites even allow users to store estate planning documents like wills and advance directives.
For example, AssetLock (formerly YouDeparted.com) offers a "secure safe deposit box" to hold such things as digital copies of important documents, final messages for family and friends, passwords, hidden accounts, and lock combinations. Once a minimum number (set by the owner) of recipients sign in and confirm the owner's death, the account is unlocked after a time delay (which also can be set by the owner). Similar services are offered by Deathswitch, and LegacyLocker.
Last Modified: 04/09/2013