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Facebook should be included in estate planning

Estate planning includes an incredible amount of information, and it's important to add your Facebook account and password to the list. It's wise to write down all of the login information that someone else would need to access your account and then keep it with your other documents in a safe place.

Experts note that this is important not just for Facebook, but for all online accounts that you use. This could include your online banking account, your credit card account, or other social sites like Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram.

The problem is that it can take forever for people to log into all of your accounts if they don't have the information on hand. The goal might just be to shut the accounts down—especially those that are connected to credit cards and bank accounts—but it's all but impossible to do without the right information. Your family members are forced to try to crack your passwords simply by guessing, or they have to contact each individual company, tell them that you've passed away, and work from there.

This process takes longer than you think because companies are very aware of identity theft and other types of fraud. You can't simply call them up on the phone and have the account shut down in a few minutes. There's a lengthy process to ensure that the information is true. You can then multiply this process by every account you own, and it's clear that it can be quite a headache for family members in their time of mourning your loss.

Having all of the right documentation in place in advance is critical.

Source: Mainstreet, "Why Your Estate Planning Should Include Your Facebook Page As Well," Jason Notte, accessed Dec. 15, 2015

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