If you were suddenly to become disabled, would your family know where to get the information they needed to handle your affairs? When life was less complicated, most people just let a trusted family member know where they hid their safety deposit box key. Times have changed.

Today, many aspects of our lives are located in places that are accessible only by a password. We have email addresses, Facebook and MySpace profiles, accounts with our online broker, online access to our bank accounts and automatically scheduled direct deposits and bill payments.

Don't Leave Loved Ones in the Dark

When a person dies or is suddenly disabled, it can be extremely difficult or even impossible for family members to retrieve password-protected information. As a result, a small online industry has sprung up to help people pass on information if their lives are suddenly disrupted.

On a typical website, a user signs up and pays an annual fee to upload everything from crucial online passwords to his gym locker combination into a private account. The user designates someone to receive a notice about how to open the account and access the information. The user can set up a minimum number of recipients that are required to confirm the owners’ death or disability before any information is released. The owner can also set a time delay for when the account will be unlocked. Some examples of these types of services are AssetLock, and LegacyLocker.

Legal Strategies Can Help You

If you prefer to leave this information for your loved ones in a "low-tech" manner, please visit our website and download the planning forms for financial information, funeral and burial arrangements, information regarding minors and medical history information here. If you are a Legal Strategies estate planning client, we have already saved your estate planning documents electronically and can provide a copy to you or your family via email or on a CD.