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Protecting Your Online Accounts After Death [AUDIO]

Legislation that would give the executor of an estate the legal right to close out online financial social media accounts could soon win final legislative approval in New Jersey.

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Under current state law it’s unclear who will control these accounts and what will happen to them after a person dies.

“Times have changed dramatically and this is really a law that’s catching up to society.  It clarifies that the person who is the executor of your estate, or an appointed administrator, would have authorization to go to these other places that are in the world of the internet, and close out those accounts,” said Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-West Deptford).

His legislation has been passed by the Assembly, but awaits action in the Senate.

Burzichelli said identities could be compromised if these online sites and accounts aren’t deleted.  “Your identity has a chance to live long after you pass away, and maybe in some of those cases you don’t want that to happen. It can be an open invitation to identity thieves.”

“A person’s estate is a very personal matter and the administrator of their affairs needs to be able to go online and take care of these things – it’s just a matter of how – what their wishes are and how their estate is closed out, and how it reflects upon their family, their legacy and their memory,” Burzichelli said.

While the legislation won’t cure all the ills associated with the scheming and things that may occur on the internet after someone passes, Burzichelli said it’s an important step in the right direction.

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