The start of a new year is a good time for Maryland residents to update their estate plans, particularly when it comes to digital assets. Digital assets can include not only online bank accounts and other online financial accounts, but also personal accounts such as Facebook accounts, email accounts and photos stored in Dropbox. These accounts may have sentimental value, but accessing them after the account holder's death can be troublesome.
A person's estate plan should include a list for the executor of the estate of all the person's user ID's and passwords for their digital assets. This can be accomplished simply by providing the executor with a printout of the information. Since passwords change, regularly reviewing this information is essential. In most states, without this information, the account may not be able to be accessed after the account holder's death.
Another option is password management software. With this, the executor or spouse of the account holder is provided with a master password, which allows them to access all the account holder's online accounts after the account holder's death.
In addition, it is a good idea to update one's beneficiaries annually on accounts such as retirement accounts, annuities and life insurance accounts. This is because the distributions from such accounts will be passed on to the listed beneficiary, even if a person's will says otherwise.
Make one resolution this New Year to create complete and updated estate planning documents. Doing so can ensure that one's property is transferred properly after one's death. There is help available, if one has questions regarding what to include in an estate plan and how to go about creating it.