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You're online, right? Someday your executor may need to be.

Here's a quick query regarding the so-called digital universe that exists online: How many accounts do you think an "average" Internet user has?

One can almost hear the wheels spinning for readers seeking to come up with a quick calculation.

There's email, right? And probably at least one -- and, in many cases, several -- investment-related accounts.

Amazon, perhaps?

And what about an assortment of these online platforms, which cascade forth like so many waterfalls: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Flickr … ad nauseam.

The point sought to be made here is twofold, namely, that online opportunities are vast and that the aforementioned average consumer explores many of them. Reportedly, a person with Internet-based accounts has a whopping 26 of them, with 10 different passwords to boot.

That can be challenging for anybody. Imagine the strain and stress entailed in accessing and managing such a catalogue of complexity for family members trying to deal with a loved one's so-called "online presence" after he or she has passed away.

Obviously, that can be an onerous chore even if all account information is readily available, with persons seeing to access it having full legal authority and the requisite information required to do so.

What if they're in the dark regarding account and password information, though? What if a digital platform provider doesn't recognize their right to assume legal control of a passed loved one's online accounts?

That can get truly sticky, as noted in a recent article discussing the need for estate planners to consider their online accounts and take steps to deal purposefully deal with them while still alive.

In today's world, that realm of estate planning is often ignored, with consequences. Millions of people keep all their financial data on line. Legions of Internet users cumulatively store billions of important photos and images on digital platforms.

"Technology has given rise to a whole new world of digital assets," notes the above-cited article.

Increasingly, smart estate planners are duly focused upon properly identifying and managing such assets -- their digital property -- in estate plans that fully address how they should be managed in the event of death.

An experienced estate administration can help with that task.

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The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen
21 Central Street
Andover, MA 01810

Phone: 978-494-6730
Phone: 978-409-1928
Fax: 978-849-8212
Map & Directions

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We are in a 1700s Colonial located on the intersection between Brook Street, Central Street and Essex Street in historic downtown Andover, Massachusetts. The parking lot entrance is located on Brook Street, which is a one-way. From Central, turn down Essex Street. Before reaching the railroad tracks, when you see the St. Augustine Church on your right, take a sharp left turn on to Brook Street, which will turn you back toward Central Street. As you ascend the hill back toward Central Street, you will see large stone pillars on either side of the entrance to our parking lot. We have assigned parking spaces numbered 7 and 10.

From the parking lot, you may take the stairs located on the rear, left-side of the building up to the garden area, where the foyer entrance to our office is located. You can also follow the sidewalk on Brook Street up to Central Street, walk along Central Street past the main house entrance (with a wrought iron gate across the walk way) to an opening in the wrought iron fence, in to the garden area where the foyer entrance to our office is located.