In the time of grieving after a loved one’s death, the last thing someone wants to be worried about is how to access important account information or documents of the deceased. It is far too common — for women especially — to be unaware of important account information and passwords after the death of their spouse. To avoid stress and chaos, it is important for women to have conversations regarding what they need to know to prepare for their futures.
What Type of Information Do Women Need to Know?
Women are often left scrambling to find or access important documents after a spouse’s death. These documents can hold important information that the woman would need to know such as finances, passwords, and personal belongings. Another thing you should have access to that is commonly overlooked are any digital assets. Digital assets are any ‘electronic records’ that you own, such as insurance claims. When estate planning or even just having a conversation with your partner, here are some important things you should know how to access.
- Estate Planning Documents (Will, Trusts, Etc.)
- Bank Account and Password Information
- Bill Login Information
- Cell Phone/Phone Service Password
- Digital Photos and Videos
- Online Shopping Accounts
- A Personal Website
- Email Logins
- Social Media Accounts
- Digital Copyrights or Trademarks
How Can Women Prepare Now?
In order to avoid any confusion about the location or access to important documents, it is important to have those conversations with your spouse now. Start by developing a list of every item you may need access to. Discuss the locations of important documents and possessions. Also, make sure you are listed on online accounts or bills, if possible. As for passwords, you should share them securely and maintain the list of passwords in a secure place. There are also password-sharing softwares that allow you to share access, just be sure to do your research on which ones are reputable and secure.
After the event of someone’s death, the time frame to be granted access to the deceased’s accounts and information can vary. It is important to be prepared and be granted access before a situation arises where you are caught off guard scrambling to figure things out. Consult with one of Meier Law Firm’s qualified estate planning lawyers today to discuss which accounts you should have access to and how to share them securely.