Friday, November 20, 2009

'Issues' for Younger People

While some people might be happy their relatives can't get access to their email or other accounts, others are taking matters into their own hands. As attorneys, we are facing new issues for this generation. Savvy folks in their 30’s are requesting specific instructions for their Facebook page. Who would have ever thought?

This all raises the question: How do you protect your sensitive data while you're alive while at the same time ensuring your heirs have access to the necessary account information once you're gone? It's not as though handing out your passwords is always a good idea.

One solution is to give a lawyer or trusted relative all the information. Be sure to put this information in your will and/or estate plan and dont neglect to update it as needed. Another idea: Divvy up different accounts to different people. Or, store the information in a safety-deposit box or home safe -- just make sure someone can gain access to the box or safe.

There are also companies that aim to help you sort through these issues. One source is Legacy Locker. It allows you to store all log-in and password information for your online accounts as well as leaving arrangements for sending it to the appropriate people upon your death. Others have features such as writing and storing letters to be sent to relatives.

The bottom line today is that in our ever changing technological world, protecting assets has become even more tedious. Not only is it a good idea to have an updated estate plan but one that reflects everything you use in your day to day life.