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Accounting for digital life after death

California residents may do their banking online or have one or more social media accounts. However, if passwords or PINs to those sites and other online properties aren't stored, it may be difficult for an individual's final wishes to be carried out. Ideally, these important records will not be kept in a safe deposit box at the bank. This is because some banks won't allow it to be opened in the absence of a court order.

Instead, it may be a better idea to use a safe at home that can be opened as soon as an individual passes away. Another idea may be to give some passwords to a spouse while giving the rest to an attorney or trusted party. It may also be worthwhile to split the passwords among two different attorneys to account for the fact that the spouse may pass at the same time.

Once an individual determines how to store important passwords or access keys, it is time to determine which ones are important to share. Generally, people want an executor or attorney to have access to their computer, cellphone and email accounts. Access information may also be provided to help another party get access to bank records or any online services .

Talking to an attorney may help individuals develop strategies to help them organize and secure important passwords or other identifying information. This may help keep that information private until it is needed or establish protocols for who may access or use it. While individuals may store sensitive information on their own, it may be possible for an attorney to store some or all of it at their office or in another secure location.

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