Until Death Do Us Tweet

In this age of social media, information is everywhere. Some you want and some, at the very least, you certainly don’t need.  It seems almost ironic that companies such as Facebook and Twitter, which only exist so that people can post information publicly, have a privacy policy. But they do, and if you haven’t expressly given permission for a social media company or email provider to distribute your information and passwords to a third party, they will not. Even if you died or became incapacitated and the person asking for the information is a family member.

Benjamin Stassen decided to take his own life at the young age of 21. Shocked by the suicide, Helen and Jay Stassen decided that they may find some answers by looking through his old emails and exchanges on Facebook. After months of legal efforts and a court order, Google finally allowed the Stassens access to their son’s gmail account. Although Facebook was also issued a court order, the Stassens are still waiting for access.

It is now common to add a section for digital assets to an estate plan. Aside from the information that may be important for sentimental reasons, online content and domain names may be valuable and at risk of loss if no one can access them.  You can leave account information, passwords, and security question details in a safe place where a loved one would know where to locate them.  There are now companies, such as Legacy Locker, that are dedicated exclusively to this field. Subscribers are able to securely store their “digital assets,” as well as a letter for the heir or other designee to be read only after their death.

Whether someone may want their private information shared or not, they should make sure that their wishes are clearly stated. Feel free to contact us to create, revise or answer any questions you may have regarding your estate.

All Rights Reserved - Copyright © 2004-2020 Hymson Goldstein Pantiliat & Lohr, PLLC
ARIZONA - 14500 N. Northsight Blvd. Suite 101 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Phone 480-991-9077 Fax 480-443-8854
NEW YORK - 525 Chestnut Street, Suite 203 Cedarhurst, NY 11516 Phone 516-596-8366 Fax 480-443-8854