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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
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Judith Mtinick is well known for acting as a guardian, conservator, trustee or agent on behalf of clients or by court appointment. This experience gives her a wide perspective and extensive practical knowledge that she uses when advising clients in drafting their planning documents. Her experience, as a court appointed...
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...
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