So much of our lives are now online, from online banking, credit card and airline reward programs to Facebook, Grammarly and subscriptions to Amazon Prime. It’s hard to keep up with all the usernames and passwords. And who else knows what they are?
The purpose of usernames and passwords is to keep our accounts secure. But if we are in an accident, have a stroke or pass away, they may become too secure. How can family or friends transfer money to pay for your care or close down an account? Who will own those pictures? Who will be able to use those hotel bonus points?
Whether or not you knock on the pearly gates, you have a digital afterlife.
In Texas, your will can appoint a digital executor, someone who distributes those assets you want to pass on and closes down accounts – all in accord with the Terms of Service for each account.
But first they must know what you have and how to get at it.
Make a list – and remember to update it. Keep it in a safe but accessible place known to your executor and substitute executor but not to anyone who might be tempted to rob you. Consider an online service such as Legacy Locker or Entrust. Write what you want to happen to each account.
As the French say, you have the right to be forgotten.
You also have the right to be remembered — in family photos and whatever else you want to make accessible.