Most Texas residents undoubtedly have a myriad of online accounts. From personal social media pages to work-related platforms to online banking, numerous aspects of life can be carried out through electronic devices. In many cases, this ability also means that individuals store photos, messages, important documents and other information using these accounts. Though it may seem useful and easily accessible, executors may feel differently when trying to conduct estate administration.
Digital assets have become as significant a part of individuals' lives as physical assets. However, many people often overlook these assets when they are creating their estate plans, or they may not know how to address such items. As a result, when an executor needs or wants to access a deceased loved one's personal online accounts, it can prove immensely difficult.
In Texas and most other states, estate planning law allows for individuals to grant their executors access to digital assets through their wills. Because this law is still lacking in details, executors must still jump through numerous hoops in hopes of obtaining that access. However, adding details to an estate plan, such as a password list or other similar information, could allow executors to gain access more easily.
If estate administration is proving challenging due to trouble associated with digital assets, many Texas executors may feel at a loss. Luckily, they do not have to fight through these difficulties alone. Enlisting the assistance of experienced attorneys could help struggling parties understand their rights, duties and options for addressing digital assets and other complications they may face during probate.
Source: theconversation.com, "Estate planning for your digital assets", Natalie Banta, Feb. 7, 2018