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Passwords and Estate Planning

This post was written by Parag Patel, Attorney on March 4, 2011
Posted Under: Estate Planning and Probate

The best way to address concerns raised by assets in the electronic age from an estate planning and estate administration perspective is to employ some practical advice:

•Each spouse keeps a spreadsheet of Institution Name, Website, Account Number, User Name, Password
•The spreadsheet is updated WHENEVER a change is made
•Save the spreadsheet to a removable media format (CD, DVD-R, USB Flash-Drive, etc).
•Save the removable media format in a safe location that your spouse, power of attorney, key adult child(ren) and attorney are aware of (safe deposit box, fireproof vault, drawer in the house where the important stuff is)
•If you password protect the file, you need to make sure that your spouse, power of attorney, key adult child(ren) and attorney are aware of the password.

If putting all this in a safe place and telling key people of it concerns you because the key people have access to your accounts, you need to rethink the key people.

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