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Don't neglect your digital assets in your estate plan

Creating an effective estate plan in 2017 means making sure that you account for your digital assets as well as your other, more tangible assets. This means making sure that your executor and the administrator of your estate plan have access to your online accounts and have the authority to make decisions about them in accordance with your wishes.

Let's say you pass away and leave detailed instructions about how you wish for you executor to distribute your estate. If you have not prepared properly, your executor may be unable to fulfill his or her duties because he or she cannot access all of your accounts. These days, many financial services deal primarily in online asset management, and may not allow your executor access to your assets if he or she does not have your login information.

To address this issue, take inventory of all of your online accounts — not only financial accounts, but also any subscription services and even social media profiles — and ensure that the proper login information for each account is in one secure place. Of course, having all that information in one place creates a large risk. To combat this issue, you should consider using an online password vault service, which securely protects all of your digital login information for just this purpose.

In order for your estate plan to be properly administered, you must provide the responsible parties with the tools they need to accomplish the task. If you have any concerns about the executability of your estate plan, reach out to an attorney to examine your estate plan and make sure that your executor has everything he or she needs to fulfill your wishes.

Source: Market Watch, "How to include your digital assets in your estate plan," Andrea Coombs, accessed June 23, 2017

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