UPDATING YOUR WILL and POWER of ATTORNEY FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
In today’s world, virtually everyone has important digital accounts and passwords to access them. The issue becomes, upon your death, how does your Executor demonstrate legal authority to access those accounts to use, change or close them?
The Executor gains their authority under the provisions of your Will. In order to make their job as an Executor easier and less stressful, I suggest that you attend to amending your Will to reflect the fact that your Executor has specific power over your digital accounts. The Will should be amended to reflect the fact that your Executor has authority to deal with your digital assets, to access, manage, delete or preserve such assets, including, but not limited to, the following: financial accounts or accounts that hold a cash position; virtual currency; accounts connected to utility services such as hydro, water, and natural gas; email accounts; social media accounts; photographs uploaded to the cloud and/or any other hosting sites; uploaded videos and blogs earning income; any character developed or created for an online role-playing game; online music and video accounts; any other intellectual property.
In the event your Executor is not as tech savvy as they might need to be, you should grant them authority in your Will to hire a computer expert as necessary to ascertain and/or deal with the above-mentioned assets.
The authority to deal with your digital assets can be dealt with by way of a Codicil to your Will, although a review of your Will may be in order as well.
The same provisions respecting digital assets should also be reflected in your Power Of Attorney for Property.
In the event you are not certain whether your Will reflects the needs of this digital age, please contact my office to discuss at your convenience.