The 4 Main Obstacles to Digital Estate Planning
When you think of estate planning, you probably consider the physical items and assets you will leave to family members. But what will happen to your digital accounts and information when you pass away?
Digital estate planning is the process of organizing your digital assets and property to ensure that your loved ones can access them after you pass. Read on to learn the four main obstacles to digital estate planning, then contact our attorneys at Ralph Powers Jr. PC to discuss your digital estate plan.
1. Privacy Laws
When you pass away, your family members will not be able to log into your digital accounts without either having your login information or having written consent from you.
Federal privacy laws prohibit online service providers from sharing customers’ information without their consent. If your family members need to access your digital accounts after you pass, they may need to take the service provider to court to obtain this data.
Instead, you need to plan for how your family members will get around these privacy laws to access your accounts. For example, some service providers allow you to add approved users to your accounts, while others require any users to log in with a username and password.
Most online accounts require passwords to access them. However, your loved ones will probably also need a password to access your smartphone, laptop, and other personal devices after you pass away.
As a result, you need to create a password management system that gives your family members access to all of your passwords after you pass.
Using a password storage tool can allow you to keep all of your important passwords in one place and lock them behind a master password. You can share this master password with your loved ones, giving them instant access to your accounts when needed.
Some of your most important accounts, such as your bank account, use encryption to protect your data. This process essentially scrambles up your data to ensure that hackers and unauthorized individuals cannot access it.
While encryption can keep your data safe, it can also make it challenging for family members to access it after you pass.
Instead, if you have important data that your family members will need access to, you may want to share it on a USB or external hard drive. Doing so can ensure that your data only ends up in the right hands while making it available to family members.
4. Criminal Laws
Finally, federal and state criminal laws may prevent your loved ones from entering your digital accounts when needed. These laws seek to prevent identity theft, fraud, and data breaches by prohibiting unauthorized access to private data. However, taking digital estate planning measures can help your family avoid criminal laws.
Contact An Experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Upper Marlboro, MD
Working with a digital estate planning attorney can help you overcome these obstacles and ensure that your loved ones can access the digital information they need to close your estate. Contact our Ralph Powers Jr. PC attorney team today at 301-627-1000 to schedule your consultation.