Florida lawyers offer 'peace of mind' in digital world

'Estate pass' closes accounts of dead loved ones

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

When Maria Cimadevilla’s father passed away back in 2008 , she had the passwords for most of his online accounts but closing those accounts was still a major challenge.

“It took me three years to stop his email dentist notices,” she said.

On average, Americans boast five to 19 passwords, and few consider those social media and online accounts the stuff of wills and estate plans.

Estate Pass co-founder Michael Garvey says that’s a common mistake.

“It’s something that’s online but you can’t forget about it," he said.

Garvey and partner David Slonim realized a need for a program that helps loved ones close accounts without the frustration of phone calls and technical battles.

Slonim says two siblings came to the probate firm because they couldn’t figure out how to close their brother’s online accounts.

That was the inspiration for  Estate Pass.

Slonim, a veteran probate attorney, says the programs are very affordable -- $50 for two online accounts up to $100 for eight accounts.

“Twitter accounts will close after a certain amount of time, but some of these accounts will just be out there and there is no limitation for that,” he said.

Slonim and Garvey  have done the homework to be able close accounts quickly.

“We know how to initiate that process and coordinate with these online service providers.”

Slonim says the information  they have allows a loved one to provide the right documents and Estate Pass does the rest.

There are hundreds of social media sites listed on EstatePass.com and each has a different protocol to close down an account.

“It’s amazing the discussions that come about when you simply ask can we close your loved one's Facebook account,” Slonim said.

Cimadevilla said she would recommend the program to anyone.

“I think it’s easy to forget that we as family members are grieving while we are trying to take care of business,” she said.

For more information, go to EstatePass.com.

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