Even the best-drafted estate plan is useless if there is no way to access your money and property. That's why it is critical to account for things like your keys, PIN numbers, and passwords when drafting an estate plan.
If you do not properly account for these things, your family may be completely precluded from accessing electronic records, as well as cash and jewelry you keep somewhere secure like in a safe.
Here are five tips for keeping track of your passwords, keys, and PIN numbers:
- You may not want to use safe-deposit boxes. While many people turn to these boxes to deposit keys and other access devices, the problem is that many banks will not allow access to the box until the will is probated. This means if important information is needed to probate your will, your heirs won't be able to access it.
- Share the combination to your home safe. If you use a safe at home, make sure that you give the combination to a trusted outside party like an attorney. Otherwise, it can be a costly procedure to crack open the safe.
- Caution when using a password-storage service. There are an increasing number of online services that offer safe, secure storage for all of your information and passwords. However, just keep in mind that these services are relatively new. Who knows if they will still be in business 50 years from now.
- Password splitting may present problems. This involves giving half of a password to one party and the other half to another. The problem is that one party may forget the password or die before you do. As a result, you may be left with no one who knows your complete passwords.
- Don't get too creative or too complicated. Don't get too creative with your password-storing plan. You want one that can be remembered and followed.
If you have a question about estate planning or keeping your passwords secure, you may want to talk to a New York estate planning attorney.