The Osofsky Law Firm is always seeking innovative ways to make their estate planning services stay ahead of the curve. With the ubiquitous nature of Internet access, provisions need to be made for the distribution and availability of login credentials, in the event of incapacity or death.
Gene L. Osofsky, of the law firm Osofsky & Osofsky, has given thought to helping clients distribute their Internet passwords and online information in the context of estate and long-term care planning. He’s become preemptive about the subject. “It’s occurred to me that in preparing their estate plans, preparations should include some mechanism for transferring login credentials, like user names and passwords, and perhaps other online information they’d want disseminated should they be laid low by incapacity or death, or should a loved one become similarly afflicted or die,” Osofsky explains. The noted Elder Law attorney adds, “This could be pretty important. You or a loved one might have information on social networking sites such as YouTube or Twitter, for instance, and might want it removed, modified, or made accessible, according to personal wishes. What would happen to this information in the case of incapacity or death if you were no longer able to manage it?”
Companies such as Legacy Locker (www.legacylocker.com) are beginning to sprout up to address such needs. “While persons could certainly write down their passwords and pertinent online information on a piece of paper, companies like Legacy Locker (others will certainly follow suit) have taken such matters to the next level. Legacy Locker even provides a private letter to whomever the deceased wishes as a kind of final online testament,” Osofsky says. But Legacy Locker and other online vendors might not work for everyone. Many people might be justifiably reluctant to share their Email accounts or social network profiles. A potentially better solution might be an “online info” Confidential Insert prepared by your Elder Law attorney, the information contained therein transferred while you or your loved one are still of sound mind. This insert would contain all user names, passwords, and other information for on-line access that you or your loved one deem appropriate or essential in the event of incapacity or death. You’d establish clear instructions concerned with the terms and particulars involved with its release. What could be better than that?