Having an end-of-life plan and named trustee can help protect digital assets against theft, fraud and other cyber crimes. It can also help family members and friends take proper care of personal photographs, music downloads or other electronic files.
It is important to leave all necessary login information, passwords, and pins to digital accounts and files in a secure location. Digital spreadsheets, word documents or password manger applications are commonly used to protect and store such information.
Naming an executor and providing him or her with the necessary information ahead of time will simplify the process of accessing, transferring or closing down accounts.
Estate planning documents should also include instructions for named executors to follow. Instructions could include:
The first step to take when managing a loved one’s digital life after death is to identify all their digital assets and any relevant information associated with them such as usernames, passwords or pins.
A digital asset is anything that can be created, transmitted, accessed or stored on an electric or digital medium. Some of the most common digital assets include:
Credit card accounts.
Social media accounts.
Files saved in the cloud.
Different assets may have different estate planning policies. For example, Facebook allows users to designate a legacy contact to make limited actions and manage accounts after death. It is important to review the terms of service for social media, bank, phone, email and cloud accounts to determine if such policies are in place.
To begin the process of locating a loved one’s digital accounts, start by looking in estate planning documents, on a personal computer or in billing information. With an appropriate plan in place, it should be easy to locate account information.
How to Prepare for Digital Life After Death
So much of life today takes place in a digital space. As a result, it is a necessary step in leaving well to plan for digital life after death.
From keeping a digital assets inventory to naming a digital executor, the necessary steps must be taken for a smooth transition.
Owner and president of our firm. Fourth generation funeral director and certified crematory operator, Jim is guided by his principles in faith, family and friends. He loves to hear feedback from our families. Proudly serving Busch families since 1986.