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Using technology to keep track of estate planning information

The information age has provided Colorado residents with new ways to stay in touch with one another and manage their financial affairs, but tracking down passwords and other login data for myriad banking, social media and email accounts can be an arduous and frustrating experience for friends or family members when a loved one has passed away. Financial planners and estate planning attorneys often recommend keeping track of bank and retirement accounts on what are known as estate document locators, and a number of technology-driven solutions have been released that can help to ensure that this information is complete and accurate.

These applications encourage individuals to gather all of their passwords and other user identification information, such as user names and the answers to security questions, so that they can be stored securely in a vault. Executors and beneficiaries will then have the data they need to manage and administer the estate, but this information is only useful if it is updated regularly. This is because financial institutions often require passwords to be changed regularly to protect sensitive data.

Information about financial and retirement accounts should be memorialized as well as details of credit cards and safe deposit boxes. Executors should also be provided with copies of insurance policies and retirement plans and the login details of social media and email accounts. It is also prudent to include a list of key individuals, such as attorneys, financial planners, insurance agents and accountants, along with their contact details.

Attorneys with experience in this area could suggest revisiting estate planning documents every year. This ensures that the estate plan continues to provide peace of mind. Attorneys may suggest that testators pay particular attention to listing any safe deposit boxes they have rented and where the keys to access them can be found.

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