How many online passwords will your family need to guess after you pass away?

A couple look concerned as they attempt to log in to a laptop at their kitchen table.

How many passwords do you have for online accounts and platforms?

It might be more than you think, as NordPass has revealed that the average person now has around 168 online passwords – an increase of almost 70% over the past three years.

This can be tough to keep track of when they are your own passwords, but what about if you needed to access a loved one’s accounts after their death? This is the situation that more and more people are finding themselves in, as Canada Life reports that only 12% of people with a will reference their digital assets in it.

As our online lives become increasingly complex, neglecting to include yours in your will could create significant stress for your family, not to mention difficulty in carrying out your wishes after you pass away.

Read on to learn more about how you can reduce stress for your loved ones and ensure that your assets – both digital and physical – are accounted for in your estate plan.

Your digital assets may include much more than your online banking

When thinking of digital assets, you might initially consider your online banking passwords, which of course are important. But your online life might cover a lot more accounts than your financial ones. For example, they might include:

  • File storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive
  • Music accounts such as Spotify or iTunes
  • Personal photos and videos
  • Social media accounts
  • Store loyalty cards
  • Email accounts
  • Subscriptions
  • Credit cards.

As you can see, some of your online accounts could hold financial value that your family may benefit from after you’ve passed away. But there are some, such as photo storage or social media accounts, that might hold sentimental value too.

Without the means to access your accounts, your family could lose this data for ever. So, if you’d like your loved ones to be able to benefit from your financial holdings or precious memories such as photos, it’s sensible to make provisions for them to be able to access your online accounts after you pass away.

A password manager or “in case of emergency” document could help your loved ones to access your online accounts after your death

There are a few ways to ensure your loved ones can access your online accounts securely after you pass away.

A password manager holds all of your passwords in one secure “vault”

Password managers have become increasingly popular in recent years as a secure and easy way to hold all the passwords for your online accounts in one place.

Usually, you’ll set one master password or passphrase, and whenever you need to log in on a website or app, you simply enter this to access the required password. With so many accounts to keep track of, this can avoid you forgetting any passwords, or compromising security by keeping them written down somewhere.

By granting the executor of your will access to this vault, they will easily be able to see all of the online accounts that you have. They can then begin making the necessary arrangements as they carry out your wishes.

An “in case of emergency” document keeps lots of important information in one place

An “in case of emergency” (ICE) document provides a helpful place to list all the important details and documents that the executor of your will needs to know about.

You may wish to include:

  • Contact details of family and friends
  • Care details for your pets
  • Your doctor’s name and address
  • Contact details for professional connections, including your financial planner, solicitor, and accountant
  • Details of your savings, investments, insurance policies, and pensions
  • The location of key documents such as your passport, birth certificate, property deeds, and insurance policy documents
  • Details of your utility companies, online accounts, and any subscriptions that may need to be cancelled
  • Any funeral plans or wishes you have.

Of course, with so much personal information, it’s important to keep the document somewhere secure to avoid it falling into the wrong hands.

Your financial planner can help you to create an estate plan that provides peace of mind

It’s never easy to think about what might happen after you pass away. But taking the time to create an estate plan that sets out your wishes clearly can help to reduce the stress that your family may encounter as they organise your affairs.

Your financial planner can help you to make sure you have included all the necessary details in the plan. Their advice and guidance can provide peace of mind that you have made the most sensible decisions for you and your family.

Get in touch

Our team of independent financial advisers in Lewes can provide support and guidance in creating an estate plan, so that you can provide for your family after you pass away.

Please get in touch by emailing us at or by phone on 01273 086 311.

Please note

This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate estate planning or will writing.

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