Usernames and passwords: The importance of digital insurance

Aug 04, 2011

It's important for policyholders to record online information so beneficiaries have access.

It's critical that when individuals purchase life insurance policies, they keep a record of every piece of data to prevent misinformation. No asset should go unidentified, and every member of a plan should be accounted for.

There's always a chance, though, that something will fall through the cracks. Individuals should ensure heirs have access to online files so they can compensate for a gap in the books.

Computer passwords were the number one reason behind insurance difficulties for one client, according to the Wall Street Journal, which therefore encourages everyone to fill out a free form that stores means of access to important web documents for beneficiaries upon the death of an account owner.

Known as a "testamentary letter" or "letter of final instruction," the form allows families to gain control of assets in place of or in addition to tangible evidence.

"Taking 15 minutes to make such a list, including your email address, and how to access your computers, 'can prevent weeks of headaches and struggles,' " John Romano, co-author of "Your Digital Afterlife," told WSJ.

People also underestimate the importance of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media broadcasts by the deceased. Not only number and figures, but messages and literature on these forums can help render the rights of certain funds that a will or trust would otherwise handle.

Managing terms of life insurance online are no less important than the hard copies most people use; usernames and passwords are crucial pieces of information and shouldn't be forgotten.

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