In this digital age, cybersecurity is of paramount importance for many Nevada residents. Simple passwords are the primary means most people keep their various online accounts secure. While it is important to keep all passwords and PIN numbers secure, it is equally important that heirs and beneficiaries have access to this information if they need it.
When access to electronic records and documents is delayed or prevented, executors may not be able to properly carry out a person’s final wishes. For example, if they cannot get access to a person’s bank accounts or financial records, they may not be able to secure access to estate funds for needed activities like paying a mortgage. This could negatively impact an estate and result in the loss of assets or value.
Since death or disability can occur unexpectedly, it is important to have a plan in place so that heirs know how to access needed information and documents. A common strategy, but one that is not recommended, is to use a safe-deposit box at a bank or credit union. Unfortunately, this may still leave important information inaccessible. Financial institutions typically will not allow safe-deposit boxes to be accessed until an order has been issued by the probate court. Instead, using a home safe or password protection service is better.
Having access to records is something that an attorney may be able to help a client with during the estate planning process. The attorney can often advise clients on the best way to keep their records and information organized and secure so that heirs and other important individuals have access to the information when it becomes necessary.