Technology continues to evolve and become an integral part of our lives. Therefore, it is increasingly apparent that a digital estate plan is essential to preparing for the unexpected.
This will ensure that your online life and digital assets are taken care of after you are gone.
What should be included in a digital estate plan?
The first step is making an inventory of your digital assets. This may include:
- Social media accounts
- Online banking and investment accounts
- Digital photos and videos
- Blogs and websites you own
- Cloud storage accounts
Once you have listed all of your digital assets, the next step is providing the necessary information to access them. This could include usernames, passwords, PINs, security questions, and instructions for multi-factor identification.
Just like you would appoint an executor for your physical estate, you need to name someone as your digital executor. This person is responsible for managing your online activities according to your wishes.
Different online platforms have varying policies regarding what happens to accounts when the owners pass away. You will need instructions for each asset on how they should be handled.
It’s important to include your digital estate plan in your legal documents to ensure your wishes are carried out. This could be in your will or a separate document.
It’s also imperative to remember that just like your physical estate plan, creating a digital plan is not a one-time thing. You must update your plan accordingly as you make or change account information. Furthermore, if your wishes regarding a particular digital asset change, you will need to update that as well.
When you stop to consider all of your online activities, creating a digital estate plan may seem overwhelming. However, it is an essential part of modern estate planning. By taking the time to organize your digital life and state your wishes, you can ensure that your online legacy is preserved.