Where’s the Key to Your Digital Diary?
Fact: Most of us are living life online.
Whether it’s a bank account, photo-sharing app or social media account, just about everything we do involves technology. The sheer number of usernames, PINs and passwords we manage is maddening.
Imagine what it would be like for your loved ones if you passed away. Would your spouse know how to log in to your email? Would your loved ones be able to access your social media? Who would be able to cancel your online subscriptions?
With technology playing such a huge role in our daily lives, it is important that it plays a role in your estate plan as well. Including a diary of your online footprint is an important step in protecting your digital assets and identity.
What Are Digital Assets?
Examples of digital assets include:
- Social networking accounts
- Email accounts
- Shopping accounts
- Online banking and billing accounts
- Websites and blogs
- Photo- and video-sharing accounts
- Music and gaming accounts
With technology moving faster than the law, many people are left without specific guidelines for effective ways to plan for digital assets after their passing.
Here are four easy ways to start securing your digital estate:
- Make a list of your digital assets and passwords. Be sure to include your usernames, passwords and security questions and answers for your digital accounts. The list should be stored on a USB flash drive or CD, or as a printout on your computer in an easy-to-find location.
- Find a safe place to store this information. Because your will could become public record, you should not include the list of your digital accounts. Instead, store the list of your digital assets and passwords with your will in a safe, easy-to-access location such as a fireproof safe. In doing so, you should make sure your digital executor has access and is aware of your list.
- Make a plan for your digital assets. How would you like your digital life to be handled after you aren’t present to manage it? Each asset may need to be managed differently, so it is important to make a guide outlining what happens with each one.
- Consult your estate planning attorney. State laws differ in this area. Your attorney will draft an estate plan that addresses your digital assets.
Alert: Security Tip!
Facebook has a special feature for users to choose what happens to their account after their passing. You can choose to create a Legacy Contact. Plan ahead and learn more about this option today.
What Will Be Your Legacy?
Whether online or in life, we will all leave behind a legacy after we pass. If you would like to learn more about ways you can leave a legacy to Hospice of the Valleys with a planned gift, please contact Gina O’Bryant at (951) 200-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options.