Nearly everything in our lives has become digital, requires a user account, and certainly has a login username and password for your security. Everything. From a bank account to your cable subscription, even your frequent shopper grocery store account, our daily lives require passwords, PINs, or other means to validate ourselves. All of this technology is great when we’re alive, but what happens to these accounts after you pass on?
Let’s explore the benefits of combining HereToday and a password manager, as well as best practices for preparing an executor and beneficiaries on how to manage and shut down your accounts.
What is a Password Manager?
In the most simplistic definition, a password manager is software that safeguards and stores all your account logins, usernames and passwords in one location. A secure, single source to access your online accounts. There are many companies offering this service, but HereToday recommends 1Password, LastPass, and Dashlane. Please note, we are not receiving compensation for these recommendations. We simply feel these platforms offer the best solutions for our customers.
HereToday and Password Manager Combination
When you pass on, or become incapacitated, an executor will need instructions on how to access all of your online accounts. A password manager is a great place to safely store your usernames and passwords; however, if you haven’t shared access to the service before you’ve passed on, it can be incredibly difficult for anyone to gain access to the account. A solution to this issue is HereToday.
From your Life Vault, simply upload an instructional guide on how to access the password manager, as well as a list of pertinent accounts and subscriptions that will need to be managed or turned off.
Keep your Passwords Up-to-Date
It’s not uncommon to change an account password multiple times a year, or subscribe to a new service that requires another username and password. To compound this issue, many accounts will not allow recently used passwords to be reused. As such, it’s up to you to maintain these changes on the password manager. For your own peace of mind, as well as helping your executor, keep your list of accounts, passwords and usernames up to date.
DO NOT add Private Information to your Will
Even if your estate doesn’t go into probate court proceedings, the law requires a will to be filed upon your passing. As your will gets filed with the local court and becomes a public record, DO NOT include private information like usernames and passwords in this document. We recommend listing your password manager details, or list of accounts and passwords, in a more private living trust document. Again, as you change passwords, please don’t forget to update the password manager or list of accounts details.
Before uploading digital account information to HereToday, your prepared legal documents must comply with the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA). This act was created to provide fiduciaries (like executors and attorneys-in-fact) with a legal path to managing the digital assets of deceased or incapacitated people. If you want an executor to have access to your digital assets, you must clearly document this authorization in your will or power of attorney.
Create a List
The acronym KISS (keep it simple stupid) is perfectly aligned to password management. In the HereToday Vault, you can upload password management access instructions; as well as include a master list of your accounts for an executor to find. Simple and easy. As mentioned earlier, always keep your list of accounts, passwords and usernames up to date.
Suggested Accounts and Password List – Keep these Up-to-Date!
- Password manager
- Cell phone and computer access
- 2FA (two factor authentication) applications
- Home alarm system
- Smart home devices, like a thermostat or doorbell
- Cable subscription
- Entertainment accounts, such as streaming media services
- Internet service provider
- Email accounts
- Most email providers have unique access rules after a death
- Photo storage sites
- Social networking platforms
- Recurring subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and blogs
- Bank accounts
- Investment services
- Mortgage provider and car loan
- College savings accounts or loan plans
- Retirement accounts like a 401(k) or 403(b)
- Utilities like water, sewer, electric, gas, trash, and recycling
- Doctor portals
- Airline frequent flyer programs
Access to Physical Storage Locations
Don’t forget to upload instructions on how to access physical storage locations. A lot of people maintain a storage unit, bank vault, or bank safe deposit box. A simple document outlining the locations and access details can be added to your HereToday account.
Disclaimer. HereToday is not a legal service. This content should not be taken as legal advice. Before drafting any legal document, please consult an attorney.