Death planning guide: beware of listing your passwords

Money Savings Expert Martin Lewis has compiled a checklist of 20 things you need to consider when planning for the financial well-being of your family (it’s on his website). The check-list includes tips on wills, inheritance tax, funerals and setting up power of attorney.  Our last post covered planning for retirement. This post covers the dangers of listing passwords.


It may seem like a good idea to write down the passwords to your online accounts for after you've gone. But it's worth considering that even if your next of kin has your login details, it's likely they'd be in breach of the website's terms by using them, which could get them into trouble legally.

For others to legitimately use your online accounts after your death, they'd need to notify the website via the proper channels, and get permission to gain access.

It's still worth listing the names of any online storage accounts (eg, if your photos are stored on a website, for example) and any other sites you've membership with on your financial factsheet to help your next of kin know who to contact after you're gone.

The safest thing to do is simply to list any providers with a rough indication of the product, with no password info. Though it may take time for your relatives to gain access this way using your death certificate, they'll at least know which organisations to contact.

Estate Planning and Probate