This post is part of our ongoing series exploring the impact of technology on legal issues.  For an introduction to the series and a collection of the posts in the series,退房这个帖子。

“谢谢。我们已经收到您的自动付款。”“注册自动帐单支付以降低学生贷款利率。““确保你的付款从不迟到!注册自动付款。““提醒,已安排每月付款。”“

这些邮件主题行直接从我的个人电子邮件帐户中获取。我收到定期查询,试图说服我为所有每月账单切换到自动付款。显然,从某些主题行中,您可以看到我确实为自动账单支付设置了一些账单(小账单),并断然拒绝设置其他账单。为什么?在我读法学院的时候,防止无意透支比其他任何事情都重要。now,更重要的是,在我死的时候防止混乱。可怕的病态。我知道。但我有一个很好的理由。

Very early on in my time with 金宝搏网站Russell,Krafft & Gruber,我参加了一个周例会,当一个合伙人进来告诉集体会议室她那天早上读到的这篇奇怪的文章时,似乎自动支付账单帮助隐藏了一个单身女人将金宝搏网址近六年的死亡。你说不可能吗?Nope!这位密歇根州妇女的生活是一场匿名和高效的完美风暴,让她的死亡在几年内无人注意。她已经将所有账单自动支付,including payments to her neighbor to maintain her yard.She traveled often for work and would be gone for weeks at a time.  She was not very social with neighbors and didn't have any family in the area.  Once the money in her accounts ran out,collection notices started to pile up.  It was only after her home had been foreclosed on that her remains were found.这个故事在多个层面上吓到了我,but once I got over the initial shock,我身上的遗产管理律师开始对这场混乱感到惊奇,因为这场混乱将涉及试图追查所有本应在死亡时停止支付的款项,并清理她的遗产。(对于我的客户,他们认为我只是想用这个故事吓唬他们,或者那些需要用他们自己的眼睛去读它来相信:这是一个linkto the article.)

Obviously this is an extreme example.这是百万分之一的情况,不可能再发生。我完全理解。然而,automatic bill pay still rears its ugly head in many estates.  I can't begin to tell you the number of man hours my office has spent tracking down payments that were wrongly made after death because an executor didn't realize their loved one had automatic bill pay set up.  With more and more people switching to paperless billing,在资金从账户中流出之前,甚至无法追踪。显然,自动账单支付的便利性往往超过了这一点,我并不建议我的客户反对自动账单支付。我只是建议他们将自动从账户中借记的账单列表保存在可以b的某个地方。e由他们指定的执行人发现。通常,这不包括在你的笔记本电脑或云中的列表,因为你的执行人可能很难在没有一些艰苦工作的情况下访问该列表。在后面的文章中对此进行了详细介绍。如果你为了你的遗产规划需要来我的办公室,金宝搏网址you will leave here with a booklet that helps you keep all of this information in one place.  It is just up to you to keep it up to date.  And I am sure,我慢慢地放弃了不用每个月都登录来支付账单的奢侈,我也是,will have most bills automatically debited from my account.

林赛·肖恩伯格is an attorney at金宝搏网站Russell,克拉夫特和格鲁伯,有限责任公司在Lancaster,Pennsylvania.她在威德纳大学法学院获得了法律学位,并在多个领域进行实践。includingEstate Planning.