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Protecting Your Legacy

Digital assets and accounts may play part in probate process

| Sep 24, 2018 | Probate & Estate Administration |

It is common for individuals in Texas and around the world to live much of their lives online. They may utilize online banking, social media accounts, photo storage, shopping accounts and many other conveniences. However, when a person dies, much of that information could be left in limbo if not addressed by surviving loved ones working through the probate process.

Some people may not see the concern over addressing digital assets because they are not tangible. If these accounts are not closed or otherwise addressed in the appropriate manner, they could easily be used by other parties looking to commit fraudulent acts. Some executors may have been given instructions by the decedents on what to do with these accounts, which could make it easier when the time comes to deal with them.

Unfortunately, many people do not consider their online accounts when they create their estate plans. As a result, executors and other loved ones may have a hard time knowing how to close the accounts in efforts to protect them from unscrupulous parties. Regrettably, closing other people’s accounts is not always easy. The terms of service information for particular accounts may be helpful, but certain information may still be needed for verification.

The probate process can be complex, and while every digital account or asset may not need to be addressed during the legal proceedings, some of them may need to. Texas residents acting as executors often have their work cut out for them, but they do not have to struggle through the proceedings alone. Experienced attorneys could help them understand their roles and how to properly attend to the estates’ affairs.