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Will & Estate Planning: What Did You Overlook?

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Sandy Botkin
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Many people get a will, a trust, a living will for medical instructions and think that they have all their bases covered. Sadly, there is one big item that rarely gets covered: Your digital footprint.

When I refer to your digital footprint, I am talking about online storage of photos, videos, social media accounts, subscriptions and online bills. These will eventually outlive you, leaving family and executors have to sift through the virtual remains. To the surprise of many, an executor does NOT automatically gain access to these accounts unless the deceased person has made specific arrangements. So what should you all do?

Create a list of your accounts and their passwords, and note your wishes and instructions in your will. Admittedly, providing a list for a trusted person is still a bit precarious, but most states have now adopted legislation that allows you to designate a legal representative to access your digital assets upon death.

You can provide this access through a will (which is best), a power of attorney or trust but this is NOT a “do it yourself” situation. Work with a good estate planning attorney to be sure that you conform with the law. 

Trust me on this, this can be a big deal. Don’t forget to deal with this.


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Sandy Botkin

Sandy is a CPA, Tax Attorney, and former IRS trainer. He has authored many helpful books on the subject of taxes, including 7 Simple Ways to Legally Avoid Paying Taxes ( Click Here ), Lower Your Taxes: Big Time ( Click Here ), and Real Estate Tax Secrets of the Rich ( Click Here ).

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