If you, like many others, rely upon email, social networking, and e-commerce, you must give serious consideration to what will become of your accounts and how they will be accessed in the event of your death or disability. In such cases, internet service providers may require court orders to allow access to your family or have other burdensome documentation requirements. As a result, access to email accounts that provide billing notices and business communications and online bank and brokerage accounts may be unavailable to family members for lengthy periods of time following the onset of a disability or death.

You should give thought to how you can ensure continued access to your spouse, appropriate family members, or business associates. One solution is to utilize a “password safe” program like SplashID, My Password Manager, Password Safe, etc. and sharing access to that program with your spouse, trusted family member or the designated Trustee of your Trust or an agent under a Durable Power of Attorney. Obviously, sharing this information with anyone creates risk that the information will be compromised. However, the consequences of not sharing the information could be quite serious.

But, be aware, even planning for your digital assets does not serve as a substitute for an appropriate Will and Revocable Living Trust.