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BOHEMIA, NY, December 18, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When thinking about protecting computer and online information from prying eyes, most small business owners do not consider the possible consequences of also keeping their passwords and online accounts secret from their managers, key employees and families. Christine Shiebler, Counsel to Roe Taroff Taitz and Portman, a Long Island Law Firm, has seen what can happen due to improper estate planning by Long Island business owners and executives. To help small business owners record their important password-protected resources, the law firm has developed a list of the most common accounts and passwords business owners should keep handy. The complimentary Important Business and Home Records List is available for immediate download from the Roe Taroff Taitz and Portman website at http://bit.ly/rttplaw.
"Most Internet companies have strict privacy policies and information necessary to access accounts may be out of reach until an Executor is appointed by the Court. This may prevent company managers and heirs from obtaining immediate information to pay important bills, or access key online accounts," said Shiebler, who concentrates her practice in the areas of wills, trusts and estates. To avoid complications that could impede business operations following the loss of a business owner by death or disability, Shiebler recommends business owners take specific actions today that can protect significant assets and provide the capability to retrieve personal and sentimental property.
Take it to the cloud (but write it down on paper). There is no question that online banking, electronic bill payment, personal and business finance software and cloud computing with online document storage makes life easier for business owners. "But if a business owner's managers and heirs cannot access those technologies that he or she uses on a regular basis, the advantages in using those online resources could be lost," says Shiebler. She recommends reviewing the sites that business owners may only record via bookmarks in their website browsers today.
Audit and record important passwords. Business owners are encouraged to list the online resources they use and record user names and passwords required to access these websites and tools. "Don't overlook some easily forgotten sites and passwords, like social media websites or access tools, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Hootsuite," says Shiebler.
Save your information securely. Care should be taken that an inventory of important and private information be kept safely and securely. This information can be printed, stored on a CD or flash drive, or in an encrypted and secure online site. Whether that information is provided to an Executor now, or kept under lock and key at the office or home, it should be easily accessible by trusted employees and family members.
"Without information regarding the online and computer-based applications a business owners uses, many items, such as photographs, videos, music and letters may also be lost to their family," Shiebler warns. "And in this day and age, when many social relationships are developed through the Internet, loved ones' inability to access online information may also result in many important people in a business owner's life not being informed of their death or disability."
Christine R. Shiebler
Ms. Shiebler is Counsel to the firm and concentrates her practice in the areas of wills, trusts and estates, elder law and real estate. She is a frequent lecturer in these areas and has been a lecturer for courses in the School of Professional and Graduate Studies at St. Joseph's College. Ms. Shiebler has also been a member of the Suffolk County Senior Citizens Advisory Board since 2006. Ms. Shiebler holds a JD from Boston University School of Law.
About Roe Taroff Taitz & Portman
Roe Taroff Taitz & Portman, LLP provides a wide variety of legal services to Long Island. Our attorneys have served the residents of Suffolk County for more than two decades. Comprised of attorneys, legal assistants and administrative staff, the firm provides support at various levels of legal expertise. Our resources are available to both businesses and individuals looking for experienced legal representation. The firm's primary areas of concentration include civil litigation, creditor's rights law, trust and estates issues, estate planning, admiralty claims, business counseling and real estate matters. For more information, please call 631-475-4400 or visit http://www.RTTPLaw.com
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