As technology continues to play an increasingly important role in our lives, it's important to consider what happens to our digital assets after we pass away. From social media accounts to online bank accounts, many of us have a significant amount of digital assets that need to be addressed in our estate planning. In this article, we'll explore what digital estate planning is, why it's important, and what steps you can take to ensure that your digital assets are handled properly after you pass away.
What is Digital Estate Planning?
Digital estate planning is the process of organizing and managing your digital assets in the event of your death or incapacity. This includes all of your online accounts, files, and other digital assets, such as:
- Email accounts
- Social media profiles (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
- Online bank accounts and investment portfolios
- Digital photos and videos
- Cryptocurrency holdings
- Domain names
- Online business assets
Why is Digital Estate Planning Important?
Without proper digital estate planning, your loved ones may have difficulty accessing and managing your digital assets after you pass away. This can lead to a variety of problems, such as:
- Your social media profiles remaining active, which can be distressing for your loved ones
- Your online accounts being vulnerable to hacking and identity theft
- Your digital assets being lost or deleted if your accounts are not properly managed
- Your online business assets being mismanaged or sold off without your consent
To avoid these issues, it's important to take the time to plan for the proper management of your digital assets after you pass away.
Steps for Digital Estate Planning
- Make an inventory of your digital assets: Start by making a list of all of your digital assets, including login credentials and passwords. Store this information in a secure location, such as a password manager or a safe deposit box.
- Appoint a digital executor: Consider appointing a trusted individual as your digital executor. This person should have access to your digital assets and should be responsible for managing them after you pass away.
- Review your online account policies: Review the policies of your online accounts to determine what happens to your accounts after you pass away. Some accounts may allow you to designate a beneficiary or grant access to a trusted individual. Others may require a court order to access the account.
- Make a plan for your social media accounts: Many social media platforms have policies in place for handling accounts after the user passes away. Consider whether you want your accounts to remain active or be deleted.
- Include digital assets in your will: To ensure that your digital assets are properly handled after you pass away, it's important to include them in your will. You can designate a digital executor and provide instructions for how your digital assets should be managed.
- Consider using a digital estate planning service: There are a number of online services that specialize in digital estate planning (like Addio!). These services can help you create an inventory of your digital assets, designate a digital executor, and provide guidance on how to manage your digital assets after you pass away.
Digital estate planning is an important part of overall estate planning, and it's important to take the time to plan for the proper management of your digital assets after you pass away. By making an inventory of your digital assets, appointing a digital executor, reviewing your online account policies, making a plan for your social media accounts, considering the legal implications, including digital assets in your will, and using a digital estate planning service, you can ensure that your digital legacy is handled properly and your loved ones are protected. Start for free today with Addio.