Nobody likes to think about their own death but to save your loved ones from the headache of trying to navigate your digital accounts without your passwords, you’ll need to set them up for success now. If you don’t take steps to share your accounts after your death, gaining access to your data could be a lengthy and challenging process.
I recently found an excellent article from Dalvin Brown at The Wall Street Journal which discusses How to Pass On Your Passwords When You Die. This article gives tips on what to do with our digital lives when we pass away.
Make sure to stick around until the end of the episode to hear a question about Roth conversions and taxes. And if you haven’t done so yet, please take 3 minutes and fill out our 5th Annual Listener Survey to help me improve the show for you.
Outline of This Episode
- [2:52] How to pass on your passwords
- [7:35] Using a password manager
- [10:15] Using passkeys makes sharing challenging
- [13:42] Roth conversions and taxes
Password planning is a part of estate planning
Nowadays, preparing for the end of your online life is just as important as setting up your will and power of attorney. Your passing will be hard on your loved ones, so it is important to smooth the transition as much as possible.
As you begin estate planning, don’t forget to enable the online digital legacy tools that are available from the major tech companies. Facebook, Google, and Apple all have ways to set up legacy contacts so that your loved ones can access your accounts upon your passing.
How to set up your legacy contacts with Facebook, Google, and Apple
For Facebook, you can add a legacy contact by following these steps in the mobile app.
First go to Settings & privacy > Settings > Personal and account information > Account ownership and control > Memorialization settings > Choose Legacy Contact.
Alternatively, you can choose to have your profile deleted after someone informs Facebook of your death. The fastest way to do this is by uploading a death certificate.
Instagram has no legacy contact option at this time. Your loved ones or heirs will have to upload your death certificate to Instagram.
Google has an Inactive Account Manager to help you decide what happens to your data after your death. With the Inactive Account Manager, you can choose up to 10 people who will receive a notification via email when your account reaches that inactive time limit. There is also an option to choose what data they have access to and how long people will have access to your data.
To set up your Inactive Account Manager, go to MyAccount.google.com, scroll to More options > Make a plan for your digital legacy.
If you don’t set up an Inactive Account Manager, your loved ones must upload a death certificate to close the account and receive any of its content.
Apple has its own legacy protocol for your iCloud account.
To set up legacy contacts for your iPhone, go to Settings and then tap your name at the top then Password & Security > Legacy Contact. The people you add are given an access key. Upon your passing, they can log in at digital-legacy.apple.com with their iCloud account, or else they must provide their contact information and your death certificate.
Upon approval, your heirs will be able to log in online or on an Apple device to view your call history, health data, notes, and iCloud backups. It is important to note that your legacy contacts won’t have access to the passwords stored in your iCloud Keychain. If you don’t designate a legacy contact, Apple will require a court order to give someone access to your Apple ID and data.
Using a password manager to share your data
Another way to share access to your digital life is through shared password managers. 1Password and LastPass are reputable password-sharing companies that can store your online passwords and share them with others. Listen in to learn how you can set up these tools to pass on to family members to remove some of the turmoil that comes with the death of a loved one.
Resources & People Mentioned
- How to Pass On Your Passwords When You Die
- Google Inactive Account Manager
- 5th Annual Listener Survey
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