Social Media Wills May Theoretically Provide Access To Online Assets But May Inadvertently Cause Illegal Action On Part Of Family Members

There are companies like and that have been created to store all of a person’s passwords in a safe place.
There are also private secure online vaults where your clients may be storing critical documents like insurance policies, wills, and medical and financial account information.
Allowing someone else to have access to your accounts may violate the terms of service on a number of sites.
Unfortunately, there are no standard guidelines among web companies for families who need to gain access to deceased family members’ data.
For example, Google requires a court order to close a deceased person’s Gmail account.
Facebook, on the other hand, seeks to shut down the pages of the deceased or memorialize it so that existing friends can see the page and interact with it doesn’t allow anyone to log into it.
Most including Yahoo, Microsoft, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn will not disclose passwords. Many will not transfer ownership of an account.
You can find more information about these companies’ policies here. Talking with your clients about their digital access plans is a valuable part of estate planning that other advisors may not be bringing to their attention.


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