What Happens to Your Online Presence When You Pass Away?
Written by Kevin M. O'Brien
Traditionally, estate plans have been paper documents that spell out decedent’s wishes regarding property, executorships’ responsibilities, funding of trusts, and the like. These documents generally consist of Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxies, and maybe the use of the Homestead Act. While all these documents still represent the foundation of a modern-day estate plan, the internet has added a whole new dimension to establishing a sound and effective plan.
Online banking, employer plans, investments, and even tax returns can be interactively utilized at the click of a keyboard. However, if a decedent doesn’t inform their survivors of lay information like URLs, passwords, and PINs, this information could be inaccessible at the most critical of times.
I recently heard a story of a woman whose husband ran the finances while he was alive. Upon his death, she didn’t know anything about his stock options at his former employer. She subsequently lost over $19,000 because they expired without her exercising them. I’m sure the $19,000 would have come in handy when the undertaker’s bill arrived! As you can see, this critical information should be stored in a safe place, and your executor or heirs should be aware of its whereabouts when needed.
Furthermore, with the popularity of social networking these days, what would happen to your online presence upon your death? Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all have specific policies in dealing with this situation. Facebook allows friends and family members the option of either “memorializing” the profile or removing it entirely. Memorializing the profile allows it to be viewed by those whom the account holder had confirmed as “friends.” Friends may post on the deceased wall, but can’t log into the account. Removing the profile entirely may only be done by immediate family members. On Facebook’s website, search for “How Do I Report a Deceased User or an Account That Needs to be Memorialized?” You will need proof of death, such as an obituary or news article.
Twitter users can email [email protected] or via fax at (415)-222-9958. They will need the deceased’s User Name or a link to the account profile page. A link to the obituary or news article is acceptable as well. Twitter accounts can only be removed.
Linked In can be contacted via fax at (402)-715-4536 or directly on their website. A “Verification of Death Form” is required to be completed and submitted. You will need the account holder’s email address, URL of their Linked In profile, date of death, and a Death Notice.
Blog services may vary from service provider to service provider, so check their policies for removing deceased user’s accounts. Usually the blog’s URL and the URL to the login page with the username and password should be a good start.
All these documents and information should be kept in a safe place and someone you trust should be aware of how to access it upon your death or incapacitation. Preferably it is stored electronically, encrypted, and has a redundant back-up in the event a disaster recovery is needed.
As you can see, in today’s digital age, this is not your grandparent’s estate plan anymore… or is it?
About the Author: Kevin M. O'Brien, CFP®, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®), and founder and president of PEAK Financial Services, Inc., has helped hundreds of individuals and organizations reach their financial goals since 1986. He is a Certified Financial Planner and a Chartered Advisor to Philanthropy. Visit his company website: WWW.PEAKFS.COM
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.