“I’m not sure where your father kept it. On his computer somewhere, but I’m not sure how to get in.” Your father died recently, leaving your mother struggling to access the finances which your dad looked after. It is a common problem. Keeping track of all your online accounts and passwords can be hard enough when you are alive. It is even harder for someone to encounter them after you die.
The Michigan Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act was created in 2016. It sets out how your family can access the online information they need when you pass away. Without those passwords and login details, it is much harder for them to access elements of the estate you leave them. You can set out who will get digital access in your will and specify anyone who should not receive access. If you do not do so, a court will have to give someone permission.
When considering your digital legacy, it is not just bank accounts and financial assets you need to consider. Perhaps you have photos stored online in the cloud, what should happen to them? What about any email accounts or social media accounts you have? Do you really want your office email still saying you will be back next week in years to come? Or your social media profile sitting there 100 years from now?
The rules regarding access to someone’s digital legacy are complicated, but by thinking about it when creating your estate plan, you can make life simpler for your family when you pass away. Seek legal help to understand more about creating a digital asset protection plan in Michigan.