Consider Your Digital Accounts in Your Estate Plan

Digital Accounts in Your Estate Plan

It’s common knowledge to include bank accounts, retirement accounts, and other standard financial accounts in estate plans. However, did you know it’s essential to have a digital estate plan that accounts for your digital accounts, such as PayPal, Venmo, and Apple Pay? Without a digital estate plan for these accounts, your loved ones may need to jump through hoops to have them closed. Since this is a time your loved ones should focus on grieving, it’s crucial to have a plan to keep things simple for them.

Closing PayPal

The executor or authorized administrator of a deceased person’s estate is the only one that can close the decedent’s PayPal account. They must send documentation to PayPal. Such documentation includes a cover sheet with the email address connected to the account and a copy of the account holder’s death certificate. Furthermore, the executor must provide their ID and email address with a copy of the legal documentation naming them as the estate executor.

Upon receiving these documents, PayPal will take two possible courses of action: they will either send a check for the balance to the requester or grant access to the deceased customer’s linked bank account for a direct transfer. After completing this transaction, PayPal will take the necessary steps to close the account.

Closing Venmo

If you need assistance with closing the Venmo account of your deceased loved one, you can contact the Venmo support team. They will guide you through the process and request specific documents, such as the decedent’s death certificate and legal authorization proving your right to act on behalf of the deceased. You can reach the Venmo support team at (855) 812-4430.

Closing an Apple Pay Account

Apple offers multiple ways to access and close a loved one’s Apple Pay Account. Without a proper digital estate plan, a court order must be obtained verifying the following information:

  • The deceased’s name and Apple ID
  • The name of the next of kin seeking access
  • Proof that the requestor is legally authorized to act on behalf of the decedent
  • That Apple is required to provide access to the decedent’s account

However, if an Apple user adds a legacy contact, which is part of digital estate planning, the legacy contact simply accesses the account via an access key and submits the death certificate to close the account.

Your Digital Estate Plan

Including account login credentials in your digital estate plan expedites the process of settling online payment accounts for your family members. You can store login passwords in a password manager and share access with trusted family members for seamless retrieval. To ensure its effectiveness, it is crucial to regularly update the digital estate plan, reflecting any changes to login credentials. An outdated list of passwords will be useless, so staying up-to-date is essential. Furthermore, the estate plan should concisely outline the steps and procedures required to settle each account appropriately. This process ensures that the executor manages digital assets and online accounts in an organized and efficient manner.

Additionally, you should clearly outline any online payment accounts that have recurring bills. This information is crucial to facilitate the cancellation of automatic bill payments as part of the estate settlement process. This information in the digital estate plan streamlines the overall estate settlement procedure.

If you’d like to take control of your digital estate, contact our expert estate planning attorneys to schedule your complimentary consultation.