Are Your Passwords as Important as Your Will?

Anyone who has spent anytime online has more than a few passwords in regular rotation. And with Firefox and IE remembering our passwords for us, many of us also can’t recall half of them. That’s why its becoming increasingly important to keep your passwords in a safe place. I can’t think of a better place than with your wills, trusts and powers of attorney.

My Aunt Susan has a list that she keeps in a place that she recently showed me and I now include her simple example in advice to all of my clients.

Thats why I was so interested in Professor Beyer’s recent post on the email “policies of the most popular e-mail providers” regarding how to access a decedent’s email account.

  • Google Gmail — requires death certificate, a document giving authority such as a power of attorney, and the full header of the email.
  • Microsoft’s Hotmail & AOL — will provide e-mail on CD to next of kin
  • Yahoo — requires a court order before it will release email
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