VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Storing information for access to financial accounts

Florida residents probably have many accounts and records stored electronically. While this may make access simple, having a central location to ensure access to passwords, PINs and access keys is important to avoid problems in settling their estates after they die.

It may be a good idea to devise a plan on how and where to store access information foraccounts. Although this varies depending on the individual, it might include computer and email logins and passwords, banking and other financial accounts and access passwords for personal files such as photos and documents. Necessary information to log in on cellphones and other portable electronic devices should be included. Making a list is essential too and may include important contacts, the location of safety deposit boxes and keys, alarm codes or safe combinations.

Some individuals may prefer other options for storing access information. Storage services are available; however, may be subject to breach. Password splitting is an additional option. Under this method, one person maintains half a password to access a list of all passwords while the remaining half is held by an attorney. Having a safe at home may be a secure way to store needed information. While a safe combination may be entrusted to a family member, storing it with an attorney may provide added security.

Proper planning is important to ensure that an estate may be settled with few complications, and having a plan to store information needed to access accounts is vital. An attorney experienced in estate planning and asset protection may assist by drawing up needed documents and helping clients to achieve their goals.

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