Most Important Password?
You may guess it’s the password to your online bank account or credit card or even your Revenue Canada account. Those are all important, but there’s one that is critical you share with your loved ones. It’s the password to your computer that allows access to your email accounts.
Why is this so important? If you get sick and can’t easily access your computer or if a family member were to die, your loved one or Attorney/Executor will try to access all of your online accounts so that they can close them down or, if necessary, continue their use. For example, they may want to shut down your account on Audible with an annual membership fee or even your internet security provider since you won’t be doing any more online surfing. But you will want to continue many of your subscriptions to utility companies, insurance products and banking which require monthly fee payments.
Many of us do use the same login information and password for many of our online accounts but chances are that you have several different ones. However, most of the accounts have a system that will enable a user to recover a forgotten log in or password. The user just needs to know how to access the email account linked to that other site so he or she can recover the information when it is sent out. Today, this has become even harder to do with double opt-in on accounts, particularly banking.
Although it is not strictly legal for you to share your password and login information, it is the easiest way to ensure that when you are sick or someone has passed, your Attorney or Executor will be able to easily access your information and manage and or settle your Estate.
The term we are now bumping into is that of “Digital Estates”. In Canada, many of us enhanced the use of the internet, to order things and pay bills as well as manage our lives. This has led to an enormous number of passwords for our digital accounts. Many of us use password support from our computers – Microsoft Word has one and then there are purchased products like Last Pass. The challenge is getting into any of these is impossible without access to the computer. In our household, we have the computer password, but you will also need access to the Last Pass account. If you reach out for support, they can’t help you as they don’t know the password, the only person with access is YOU. So, this does suggest a need for an offline support tool.
New at SmartWills we have created the SmartAccess Kit. It is a comprehensive guide (100 pages plus) of all the key information you will need to help you, and your family or Attorney/Executor manage your online and offline life.
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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.