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Home » Turner Law Offices Blog » Social Media Factors in Probate

Social Media Factors in Probate

TN probate lawyer

Probate is an age-old legal process dividing the property of someone who is recently deceased among their family members and others included in their will. Social media and digital assets, however, are a new creation, having only been around for the past decade or so. It stands to reason that many people don’t fully consider their digital assets when planning their estate, leaving online accounts to fall to the wayside when they pass away.

These digital assets can include property ranging from your pictures on Facebook or Instagram, to your family’s shared music account, and even to your business’s online presence. With a major push from all online companies to deter piracy and identity theft, many include details in their service agreements that prevent an account from being transferred from one person to another simply because it is written in their will.

So how do you properly handle your digital assets when planning your estate?

Well, first and foremost, the last thing you want to do is include your account’s private information, such as log-in IDs and passwords, in your written will. When an estate enters probate, everything about it goes public, meaning anybody would be able to use your listed information to access your accounts. Imagine the nightmare that could be caused to your estate if your online bank account’s online log-in information went public.

Because digital assets are still a relatively new thing, the best way for you to ensure your online property is properly maintained upon your demise would be to keep a private spreadsheet containing all of your accounts’ information. It’s old-fashioned and a bit time-consuming, but your goal here is to make your information easily accessible by surviving family members without letting it become publicly known.

Also, another tip to keep in mind: if your business gains much of its traffic or revenue via social media sites, you will want the account to be registered in your business’s name rather than your own. This will allow the business’s online presence to live on without a rough delay when scrambling to find a way to transfer its ownership.

If you haven’t yet made a plan for your estate in the event of an untimely accident, that needs to become one of your top priorities, no matter your age. It’s always better to be prepared, as tragic accidents don’t announce when they’ll strike. Call us today to speak with an experienced probate attorney. Our attorneys are well-versed in the process of probate, and will know what you need to do to protect your estate.

Call us today and see how we can help you.

Call 615-259-2660

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