Today, people utilize the Internet and social media more than ever before, raising new issues for estate administration. Many people receive bank, credit card, and utility statements electronically, and practically everyone has a Facebook account. Electronic mail and Facebook may hold important information for a personal representative seeking to administer an estate.¹ Obtaining access to that information, however, is a brand new area in probate law.
In some cases, the personal representative may know the password to the decedent’s email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. In these cases, accessing bills and statements as they come in is relatively easy. But is a personal representative² authorized to access these accounts? In situations where the personal representative does not know the password, how can they obtain it?