Creating a will ensures our assets will go on to our loved ones when we pass away, but what happens to our lives online isn’t so clear. Usually, only we know the passwords to our email, and online bank accounts.
It’s something people don’t really think about and most everyone, including an attorney, was stumped; however, it may be something we should start considering.
No one likes to think about the possibility suddenly passing away, but the reality is, it happens everyday.
Physical assets will likely go to family members, but what happens to that person’s online life, isn’t clear.
“It would probably end up floating in cyberspace forever because it’s a personal e-mail account and nobody has access to it,” said Rodney Phillips of Wilmington.
E-mails will go unanswered. Facebook and Myspace profiles become idle. E-bay bidders begin wondering where their purchase is.
From paperless banking to social networking sites, these days, so much of our lives happens on the internet.
Melissa Manley sells handmade jewelry on etsy.com. “It does a little bit of a problem sometimes when I think about what could happen if I were in an accident or something happened to me. And I have people who have purchased things on etsy and no one knows. So it does pose a problem.”
Legacy Locker is trying to solve this problem.
For $30 a year, the company provides a repository for your digital property. When you die, designated loved ones are given the passwords for personal online accounts.
While Legacy Locker might sound like a new concept, attorney Andrew Olsen says passwords and personal information would still be accessible without it. “Once you’ve qualified as executer of an estate, it’s possible to go ahead and deal with the bank accounts and the other kinds of things.”
Legacy locker may just make things easier.
Olsen says the idea of including electronic records in a will is something he may start bringing up with clients. “They may have a business or they may need to protect assets online as you talked about, it’s a question well worth raising.”
Legacy locker is adding another component to the site next week, allowing a person to digitally backup important records like your birth and wedding certificate.