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Facebook, Twitter, online accounts important to your estate plan

When you think about an estate plan, you probably consider a lot of tangible factors that are grounded in reality. What you probably don't consider is your Instagram account, or your PlayStation ID, or your various other online and social media profiles. This is because these accounts are all relatively new to society, and they may also seem to hold little or no value at first glance.

However, these accounts are very important for a variety of reason, and you'll want to protect these accounts -- or, at the very least, plan on how to deal with these accounts -- for your sake and your family's. For example, online banking accounts are obviously very valuable and need to be protected, but they may not necessarily be addressed (or adequately addressed) in an estate plan.

But what about for accounts that have nothing to do with money? What about your Facebook and Twitter profiles?

Well, these still hold value. At the very least, there is sentimental value to some of the things you have on your social media profiles. Pictures, memories, interactions with people: all of these sentimental items may be things that you want to preserve in case of unfortunate circumstances. There could also be some very personal and private matters that you don't want leaked to the world on these accounts.

And then the accounts that do deal with financial matters hold inherent importance to them. Bills may have been set to auto pay on certain accounts, or other accounts may automatically transfer funds from one place to another that simply doesn't make sense in the wake of an estate plan that has triggered.

Source: Columbus Dispatch, "Guide to Life: How to handle online accounts during estate planning," Hannah Yang, March 14, 2015

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