Digital Asset Inventory

So Your Loved Ones Aren’t Left In The Cloud

A digital asset inventory is a record of usernames, password and other information for your online accounts.  (Here’s an example of what one might look like).  It includes everything from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to the login credentials for your online banking.  Most of the pieces of an estate plan – wills, trusts and so on – have been around quite a while.  The digital asset inventory is newer and many estate plans probably don’t have one.  As our lives and our business increasingly move online, such an inventory becomes an important part of ensuring your estate is handled in accordance with your wishes.

Consider the experiences of two recent widows.

Situation #1:  She and her husband knew his days were numbered even though he was still going to work and able to shop up until a few weeks before he succumbed.  Even when he was confined to a bed for the last week or two he could write and converse.  Yet within a week of her husband passing, a spouse suddenly discovered her home telephone service was about to be turned off.  Her husband paid the bills and gravitated over the years to move their home bills to paperless billing.  Until the final cutoff notice was received, the surviving spouse had no idea the telephone bill was past due.   As time progressed, the spouse became aware she needed numerous passwords to access critical information for recurring bills.  In particular, the husband kept his tax information online as well.  The surviving spouse had to scurry around to figure out how to obtain duplicate information.

Situation #2:  Her husband was an amateur techie.  He always had the latest and greatest when it came to computers, tablets, smart phones etc. and he was employed in a field where he was constantly keeping up with everything online.  He was in the best health he had been in for decades and making preparations for his demise was the furthest from their minds.  Then she returned from work one afternoon and her husband had passed on without warning.  That’s when she realized as efficient as it had been to keep all paperwork electronic, the disadvantage is when the impossible actually happens, the survivors have no clue how to locate anything.

In both cases, a digital asset inventory would have allowed the widows to better handle their spouses’ affairs in the wake of their passing.

Horowitz Law Offices represents clients for their estate planning needs, including preparing digital asset inventories.  You are welcome to contact us as 312 787 5533 or