Galloway and Collens, PLLC
We are here for you during the COVID-19 emergency.
Please call 248-284-1990 to reach our receptionist or fill out the contact page of our website and we will be in touch.

A Michigan family estate plan should include online assets

People tend to think about physical assets when they prepare to create an estate plan or discuss one with family members. However, as technology permeates the lives of the young and old, an estate plan needs to include digital assets and instructions for online accounts just as much as it may include instructions for physical assets. Families in Michigan may want to discuss plans and set up a plan to deal with these accounts or update an existing plan as needed.

One essential piece of information that needs to be shared or entered into an estate plan is the passwords to these various accounts. If these accounts pertain to bank accounts or are tied to finances in some way, it is vital to ensure that beneficiaries have these passwords somehow. A simple list of accounts and passwords can be added to any estate-planning documents.

There is now software aimed at password management, and a master password can unlock all of the accounts. This can be essential to access accounts that control day-to-day finances and essential bills, such as the mortgage. The fate of other accounts not tied to finances needs to be outlined also, as they may still contain sensitive or personal information. This can include instructions for social media accounts and also pictures stored in accounts such as Dropbox.

While passing along passwords may be the first step, outlining clear instructions as to what needs to be done once accounts are accessed is also part of the process. An estate plan needs to be crafted that will include all of this information and also clearly outlines the wishes with little to no room for misinterpretation. For those in Michigan who already have an estate plan mapped out for beneficiaries, revisiting that plan may be needed at certain intervals, such as the New Year, as this milestone can be a reliable reminder to tend to estate plan needs in general.

Source:, "Why Your Estate Planning Should Include Your Facebook Page As Well", Jason Notte, Jan. 7, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Sterling
  • dbusiness - Top Lawyers
  • SuperLawyers 2019
  • Rainbow Image
  • Senior & Caregiver
  • ICLE Contributor
Email Us For A Response

Contact Our Metro Detroit Attorneys

Our law firm is ready to help. Contact the real estate and estate planning attorneys at Galloway and Collens, PLLC, by calling 248-284-1990.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

26075 Woodward Avenue Suite 200 Huntington Woods, MI 48070-1341 Phone: 248-284-1990 Fax: 248-545-2520 Huntington Woods Law Office Map