You might think that dealing with an estate is a relatively straightforward matter, and in certain circumstances this can be the case. As executors we ‘stand in the shoes’ of the deceased and are charged under the Will with the responsibility of distributing the estate assets and resolving any outstanding issues.
When The Fry Group was founded in 1898 the quill pen was probably still in common use, as the biro had not yet been invented. In the modern computer age the biro may eventually go the way of the quill pen, but as executors we need to deal with any and all assets of the estate.
Have you ever thought how your executors and perhaps family or friends (if they are on hand to assist) would cope with your online accounts? This could be any one of the following:
• Supermarket loyalty points
• Airline loyalty entitlements
• Online music
• Online photographs
• Online videos
• Linked In
• Online banking
• Online gambling
• Online gaming
The list goes on and on.
It obviously makes great sense for this sort of information to be password protected and for those passwords to be regularly changed. Imagine the look of horror on your executor’s face when they realise they have to deal with all of this, but have no idea what your passwords may be.
Simple solutions are usually the best and we would suggest that, assuming you keep a copy of your Will somewhere secure, you retain with the Will a list of the passwords and periodically make sure the list is up to date. That one document would obviously give access to your accounts if it fell into the wrong hands, so do make sure it is secure and if ever lost the passwords are changed.