Most people in Indiana have a checking account at a local bank that they use to pay their bills. They have a debit card that allows them to pay their bills online. Some may have even set up automatic payments that allow for money to be deducted from their accounts each month with the bills become due.
Many of these payment methods require passwords to access the system. Those who use these websites each month may know these passwords by heart, but what happens if they pass away unexpectedly? These individuals may have created the necessary estate planning documents that they need to carry out their final wishes, but they have failed to record this crucial information. Those in charge of carrying out the estate might not have any knowledge of these systems, and they could experience significant problems when trying to stop future funds from being deducted from the accounts.
Every person that has an estate plan in place needs to be sure that it includes not only a list of all the accounts and expenses being paid each month, but also the passwords needed to access these systems. This will help families be able to determine the individual’s assets without having to spend a great deal of time trying to find someone who can assist them with making the necessary changes.
Additionally, many people have social media accounts set up that store important photographs, or have pictures saved on password-protected computers. Social media sites may have policies that close these accounts when person passes away, so individuals should be sure that their family members are able to access the information they need to obtain important materials. If these passwords are not recorded, the photos could be lost if the site or device is inaccessible.
If you are considering putting a plan in place or need to make changes to your existing documents, you should speak to an experienced estate planning attorney in your area to learn more about your next steps. Your attorney can help you collect all of the information that you will need when creating these documents, and also discuss any possible options that may be available to help you minimize the potential problems that may arise.
Once you have a comprehensive plan in place, your attorney will be able to advise you on any modifications that you may need to make should your family situation change. It is important to make sure that these documents remain current, as this can prevent challenges to the will your will, trusts or other items included as part of your estate plan.