How to Start a Digital Estate Plan: A Guide from a Hook Law Center Estate Planning Attorney | Law Firm Newswire

How to Start a Digital Estate Plan: A Guide from a Hook Law Center Estate Planning Attorney

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 8, 2014 – It is increasingly important for comprehensive estate plans to account for assets managed online.

“Traditionally, when someone died without a comprehensive estate plan in place, heirs could use paper records to piece everything together,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia Beach estate planning attorney. “But now, that is not always the case. Many people are opting to manage checking accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts online. If those assets are not properly documented, it may be difficult for rightful heirs to gain access to them or even to become aware of their existence.”

Hook recommends consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure all assets are accounted for in a will or trust. But he also gave some simple steps that individuals can take to get started on their own.

When compiling sensitive information, be sure to protect it. Hook suggests physically hiding a USB flash drive, password-protecting the relevant drive and document or, preferably, both.

Identify assets. Include every account in which there are assets, regardless of whether there are current paper records – this may be changed in the future.

Gather access information. For financial accounts, access information includes websites, login IDs and passwords. Record an explanation of the locations of physical assets.

Understand transfer policies. Some companies facilitate the transfer of assets' ownership to heirs better than others. Inquire about these policies, and if they are of concern, consider moving funds elsewhere. If the company allows named beneficiaries for individual accounts, take advantage of the option. It significantly reduces hassle.

Decide whether if anything needs to be destroyed. Perhaps there is private correspondence or diaries on a computer that should remain confidential until after death. If so, specify this in a will or trust what data is to be destroyed.

Spread the word. Tell a few key individuals – perhaps a spouse, children, executor or attorney – where to find personal digital estate plans and the password.

Keep it updated. When a new account is opened or a password is changed, update access information and records accordingly.

Hook Law Center
295 Bendix Road, Suite 170
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-1294
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267

SUFFOLK
5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suite 203
Suffolk VA 23435
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267
http://www.hooklawcenter.com/

  • Assuming Roles of Trustee and Power of Attorney
    Your loved one has lost capacity and you are named in their Power of Attorney and/or Trust – Now what? If you are fortunate, your loved ones have done their estate planning and put documents in place to enable a trusted person to assume the management of their financial affairs in the event of their […]
  • The Effect of Annuities on Long-Term Care Plans
    Annuities are great investments for people who are frightened by the stock market or need a tax-deferred investment, and they have long been used to ensure a guaranteed income in retirement. In simple terms, an annuity is a contract with an insurance company whereby the purchaser pays a certain amount of money and the insurance […]
  • What Happens to My Online Accounts After I Die?
    In today’s world, many people connect with friends and family via social media more than they do in “real life.” Additionally, online shopping has expanded vastly in the past several years, and most people have several online accounts they use regularly. While the Internet has allowed us to have more connections and to conduct business […]
  • Impeaching Wills
    We often hear from family members who are unhappy with the terms of a loved one’s current Will. The issue is often laced with problematic family dynamics where multiple people claim undue influence or lack of capacity. This intricate web of issues can lead to expensive litigation. As an attorney, the most important factor when […]
  • Is That Really Enough to Retire?
    A recent study by the Associated Press NORC Center for Public Affairs research found that almost 40% of Americans feel confident in their retirement savings. This appears to be a positive statistic given that 10,000 Americans reach 65, traditional retirement age, every day. However, some experts argue that the confidence may be faulty, or, may […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required