Digital assets, which encompass all of a person’s online profiles and information, have become such a big deal that recently the Florida House and Senate passed legislation to create an entirely new chapter of the Florida Statutes. Now signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott, the “Florida Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act,” gives designated individuals access to the digital assets of a deceased or incapacitated loved one.
David H. Slonim, an experienced eldercare and probate attorney, has focused his law practice on helping families plan for the inevitable transition they must make when a loved one passes away. Traditionally, this has included financial, family continuity and estate tax considerations, but today, there must also be a focus on one’s digital assets which may live on forever unless digital estate management is properly handled.
Enter Estate Pass™, a service of Obolus, a company that Slonim and his business partners founded in 2013. Estate Pass has developed relationships with more than 1,200 online providers to streamline the frustrating and often time-consuming process of taking down a loved one’s social media profiles, E-mail and E-Commerce accounts and other online accounts that may be left in limbo if not canceled by an authorized representative.
“Estate Pass aims to streamline the process of navigating this digital maze,” said Slonim. “Often, a professional is needed to help execute the last will & testament and mediate the process of settling an individuals’ physical estate, but in today’s advanced technological age, managing the ‘Digital Estate’ of a loved one who has passed is equally important.”
Not canceling these accounts provides scammers and hackers with an opportunity to steal someone’s identity without available recourse to the family. Leaving these accounts active may cause families and friends a great deal of emotional distress from the continuing stream of email reminders on social media. “I’ve heard from CEOs to funeral directors who have all personally experienced this new fact of digital life telling me how awkward it is to receive these notifications and how relieved they are that Estate Pass can help families with this problem,” said Slonim.
The challenge in dealing with these accounts is that no two sites necessarily require the same information and there is rarely a readily available web page or phone number for a service provider to help families close down the accounts of loved ones. Closing down one account becomes hard enough, handling a multitude is a nightmare.
While some password management sites will store the deceased’s information and may be willing to pass it along to the families or representatives of the deceased, only Estate Pass will actively close the deceased’s accounts for the loved one’s survivors, saving hours upon hours of time and headache.
“We tried to go directly through the social media companies, but that process was frustrating,” said James Rieley, an Estate Pass customer. “It was not until we heard about Estate Pass that this lingering problem was resolved in a matter of days.”
There are four bundles available ranging from the retirement of two online accounts ($50.00) up to eight ($100). Additional accounts can also be purchased a la carté for $15 each. Estate Pass works with its customers to gather the necessary documents for every account to be closed. They contact the service providers, placing phone calls, filling out forms, sending emails and documents and answering questions. For more information on Estate Pass, visit www.estatepass.com
About Estate Pass:
Created by David H. Slonim, an experienced eldercare and probate attorney, Estate Pass™, a service of Obolus, is a digital estate management service that works with online providers to streamline the frustrating and often time-consuming process of taking down a loved one’s social media profiles, Email and E-Commerce accounts and other online accounts that may be left in limbo if not canceled by an authorized representative.