Charities and funeral directors are urging Britons to ensure that they provide password details for their bank accounts, subscriptions and social media networks in their will, after a study revealed that an increasing number of people are facing ‘massive probate issues’.
According to the Keep Me Posted Campaign – a charity geared at the consumer’s right to choose how financial, utility and media companies contact them – the average person has at least eight important account passwords to their name.
These can vary from bank passwords to login details for online accounts on utility bill websites or social media – many of which may be linked to direct debits, payment plans and subscriptions.
Such arrangements can be difficult to break off without the correct passwords or account details, and Judith Donovan, Chair of the Keep Me Posted Campaign, warns that this can prove a “massive issue” for families following the unexpected death of a loved one.
Furthermore, a separate study carried out by Co-operative Funeral Care found that almost four in five Britons have faced serious issues when attempting to deal with the estate of a recently deceased family member or friend through online accounts.
Co-operative Funeral Care said that, without the correct passwords and login details handed down to family members, the recently deceased could be racking up unknown debts on subscription-charging websites, gambling apps, eBay, Paypal, and more.
Conversely, the deceased may have hundreds of pounds stored in such online accounts which are unable to be obtained – while savings accounts, investments and pensions could be overlooked and lost altogether.
Following the research, the National Society of Allied and Funeral Directors is calling for people across the UK to ensure that they pass on all relevant password and account details to their loved ones. This can be achieved by seeking expert legal advice to draft an air-tight will today.
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