These days, we’re never far from our smartphones. And most of us use multiple social media websites.
Still, few consider what they’d like to do about their digital legacies after they die, reports theatlantic.com editor Jack Swearingen.
In a recent article, he explains his own parents have differing views on how to treat their social media accounts. He also suggests people at least leave their passwords for their executors or families. Read more.
If you decide to help clients with digital estate planning, take a look at assistant editor Katie Keir’s story on the same topic, which was published in the November 2013 issue of Advisor’s Edge. It suggests you let clients know that most websites have stringent privacy policies and require users, or their executors, to present specific documents and personal information to close down accounts. People may also have important documents and photos stored on personal or work devices (phones or tablets), so can’t forget to deal with those.
Further, you may have to take time to convince clients of the importance of dealing with online assets before death.
If clients aren’t convinced digital estate planning is crucial, let them know “there’s the risk of identity theft after death if they leave accounts unattended,” says Marlena Pospiech, private wealth advisor at BMO Harris Private Banking.
That’s because most accounts remain open if providers aren’t alerted of a user’s death. She’s seen cases where people have received emails from dead relatives because abandoned accounts have been breached.
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