With the growth of the Internet, a whole new world of banking and interactions has formed. With this, more rigid security measures have been created to protect one’s confidential information.
Security measures on many websites are no longer limited to only a username and password, but also a second level of security, in the form of a security question or pin. These security measures are to keep hackers away, but they also may make it difficult for a family member of someone who has recently passed away to access these accounts.
Although this issue was non-existent a couple decades ago, today families are finding themselves struggling with accessing, managing and closing online accounts of loved one’s who have passed.
Requesting online account access has also become a difficult process. Even email services and social media websites require proof of death, proof of relationship to the deceased, and copies of the will. These requirements and processes may take several weeks or months to process, before access is granted.
If you haven’t already done so, we urge you to consider adding a digital executor to your will, granting permission to control the online accounts, including specific details on how you would like the accounts handled. A list of all accounts, usernames and passwords should either be included in the will or stored in a safe place, whether online or offline.
If you have passwords that are changed often, it may be more appropriate to store passwords with a password service, or in a place other than the will, as it could be costly to continuously make updates to your will.
We encourage you to take these steps in helping make the process of accessing, managing and closing accounts easier on your loved ones.