December 10, 2013

When a loved one passes, will you have the access you need to his or her financial records? As a society, we’ve migrated so much of our lives, including our finances, online that we have essentially password protected ourselves against our own family members, an issue that’s gaining attention as more and more older adults choose to do their banking and house their financial records solely online.

While much has been written about how family members struggle to get access to the email and social network accounts of loved ones who have died, far less attention has been paid to the logins, passwords and answers to security questions that will give access to an online financial life. Records of account information and passwords should be kept so that family members can access accounts when a loved one passes. However, it is important to note that a paper trail of passwords also creates the opportunity for an unwanted person to gain access to online financial information.

This insightful article from the New York Times opens the conversation on how we can all take steps to better manage and protect our online financial lives.