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Estate Planning

How To Protect Your Digital Assets (Passwords etc.)

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1,  Start with an inventory of logins. Include:

  • Your computer(s), tablet(s), smart phone(s) and other connected devices.
  • Encrypted hard drives, flash drives and other storage devices
  • Encrypted home network routers
  • Voice mail
  • Fobs, cards or other physical digital-key devices

2. List for each of the above:

  • User names, passwords and other login access codes, 
  • Information needed to reset the password, including answers to secret questions. For example:
    • Who was your best childhood friend? 
    • What was the name of your first pet? 
  • The Web addresses where there is access to your account-login pages 

3. Pick and retain a trusted third party to handle your digital affairs. Instruct him or her on how to access the above information and how to manage whatever needs managing.

4. Rather than include authorization in your Will which is a public document, create a Durable Power of Attorney for your digital assets. This will legally authorize your agent to access your accounts and devices if there are any questions.

5. Store a paper version of the above information in a safe place. Also maintain a digital version to note changed paswords or new services. You can store your passwords online for free through such services as Legacy Locker  offsite linkand Planned Departure offsite link


  • Consider visting each site you use to determine if it has policies for what happens in the event of a user's death.Follow those procedures. For example:
    • If you store data on YouTube, Picasa or Gmail, Google has a free service known as Inactive Acount Manager that helps assure your passwords are passed on. You can find Inactive Account manager on your Google Account settings page offsite link
    • Facebook has Legacy Contact.

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