Modern estate plans should include “digital estate planning” to manage online accounts and online data. There are four specific steps to creating an effective digital directive, says American Legion’s recent article entitled “Estate planning and online accounts.”
Note that Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and other companies have policies for when an account holder dies. These policies may permit an account holder to designate a "Legacy Contact" to manage the account; require specific documentation before a deceased person’s account can be closed, such as a copy of a death certificate; or automatically close an account after an extended period of inactivity, such as three months.
Digital estate planning is a new and dynamic field. We have taken steps to partner with a digital estate planning firm so you can be certain your executor, or your digital executor, will take the right steps to preserve and protect these accounts and that valuable and sentimental data can be passed on to family and loved ones.
Make no mistake, this is truly a digital age we live in! Want proof? First, look at your smartphone and see how many online accounts you have that will have to be dealt with at your death, the number will surprise you! Then book a call with us and we can discuss how to protect not only your digital assets but your privacy as well! If you or a loved one are concerned about issues with situations like this, and in estate planning and elder law concerns including Asset Protection/Medicaid Planning and questions regarding long-term care and the nursing home, reach out to us! Book a call with us on our website: www.VAElderLaw.com to get started. We have offices in Bassett, Danville and Lynchburg to serve you.
Reference: American Legion (Dec. 13, 2022) “Estate planning and online accounts”