Perhaps you have a New Jersey friend on social media who died years ago, yet he or she still appears in your lists of friends or followers because the account is still active. So much of life takes place online, you may wonder what may happen to your password-protected accounts.
Not only are there accounts to social media that a hacker could take advantage of, you may also have many services set up on auto-withdrawal plans from bank accounts. A substantial amount of money may disappear from your bank account in the months after your death if the estate executor or administrator does not know about them.
According to FindLaw, it is important to add your digital assets and online account information to your will.
Some assets, such as digital downloads that you have paid for, you may not be able to transfer to someone else. Often, you are just purchasing the right to use them rather than purchasing the music, book or service itself. You will need to look at the terms of service agreements to discover what your options are for these.
Accounts such as PayPal or other financial sites may require you to name a person to close your account, or require an estate administrator or executor to access and close them during the probate process. Others may have policies that allow family members to de-activate accounts. However, in the case of social media and email accounts, you may be able to simply leave your passwords and instructions to a trusted friend or family member who can take care of your digital footprint after you are gone.
This information is a general overview only and should not be considered legal advice.