Assisting Clients
Throughout Alaska
907.522.2272
Serving Alaskans
Share

Foley, Foley & Pearson News

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Your Digital Assets

Where's the Combination to the Safe?  You may have imagined family members asking this question in the event of your death.  It's a simple matter to let them know where you keep that combination. 

One of the challenges of life in the “electronic age” is keeping track of login information and passwords.  As we all know, the more random, complex and short-lived we make passwords, the more secure our information is.  This information should be changing constantly.

Tracking your own passwords and login information is complicated.  Trying to puzzle through someone else's password and login information is at best, challenging and at worst, it's impossible.

A few months ago an Anchorage man passed away unexpectedly.  His sister, dealing with the shock of his death, traveled to Anchorage to settle his affairs.  In life, this family had been separated by many miles and in death, unknown passwords meant the man's most important information was inaccessible to his sister.  Tasked with settling the man's affairs, his sister had no idea what his passwords were – this man literally took secrets to the grave.  The result is that nothing has been easy; some information will never be uncovered. 

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 36% of adults over age 45 now do their banking online.  Without access to your digital assets, even figuring out what automatic payments are made each month and cancelling your subscriptions can be a challenge.

Passwords and login information are assets to be protected during life and passed on at death.  So how to go about doing this?  Here are some ideas: 

1.  The Old Fashioned Way:  Write them down.  Keep a list of passwords and login information in a safe place.  Tell at least two other people where it is and update the list EVERY time something changes.  With help from some of our clients, we have developed a simple form that's a starting point for a list of password and login information.  Give our office a call and we'll email it to you.

2.  The "Simple" Technology Way: Put them into a document on your computer.  Make a list of passwords and login names; if you want, you can password protect the list.  Tell at least two other people the name of the document, its location and the password.  Update the document EVERY time something changes.  If you email a copy of the document to someone, password protecting it is a must; however, do not make the mistake of sending the document and the password in the same email.

3.  Use a Password Tracking Program.  There are dozens out there.  Lastpass and RoboForm are two our clients have mentioned.  Pick one that works on your computer and any portable devices you use.   Set it up and use it religiously.   Tell at least two other people what service you use and how to log into the service.  Again, do not give them all of that information by email at the same time. 

4.  Use a Service That Releases Information in the Event of Your Death.   These services require proof of your death.  An example is Legacy Locker (http://legacylocker.com/).  Another service, Deathswitch (http://www.deathswitch.com), will send an email to you at the frequency you have selected.  If you don't respond after repeated requests, the service will send information you prepared to loved ones or friends of your choice.  If you use a service like this, make sure your information will also be available to those chosen confidants in the event of your disability.

There are lots of other ways to keep this information safe for others.  What's important is that you leave a trail for your loved ones to follow. 

Let us know what works for you!  Drop us a line or send an email, and we'll publish some of your ideas in a future newsletter.

 


Archived Posts

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012



© 2019 Foley, Foley & Pearson, P.C. | Disclaimer
4300 B Street, Suite 400, Anchorage, AK 99503
| Phone: 907-522-2272

About | Resources | Workshops | Services | Generations

Attorney Website Platform by
Zola Creative