Who is in control of my passwords when I pass?

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Research has shown that the average person has more than 100 passwords to various online accounts. As the internet has grown and become essential to daily life, so has the need to consider digital legacies when it comes to estate matters. When a person passes away there are many accounts such as subscription services, social media, photos and important files that family members or executors may need access to in order to settle the estate. Executors can be faced with a number of challenges when it comes to dealing with digital assets. There are many aspects that go into creating an estate plan for digital assets but one key area that some technology companies have been offering in recent years are “Legacy Contacts”. A legacy contact is an individual who can request access to a user’s data in the event of their death, having such a system in place can be one important step in your estate planning.

The offering of these kinds of features has become more common in recent years. Many password managers have features that allow users to appoint someone to this role, Facebook allows for a legacy contact to be selected and google has what they call an “Inactive Account Manager” which allows users to set up a plan for if you’re unexpectedly unable to use your Google Account, such as in the event of an accident or death. Most recently, Apple announced that as of iOS 15.2, users will be able to add a Legacy Contact for their Apple ID. For those who use Apple devices this is something that it is a good feature to be aware of and set up if it makes sense for you. We would encourage everyone to consider their digital legacy when it comes to estate planning and if you need assistance in this area then Estate Stewards is here to help.

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