|Courtesy of Sofiaperesoa|
One of the hottest topics in estate planning right now is “digital estate planning,” which involves managing your online legacy after your death. In this post, I will focus on three topics: 1) Inventorying your online assets, 2) managing your passwords, and 3) making instructions for the handling of your social media and other online accounts.
Inventorying your Digital Assets
Our society has become so accustomed to conducting business online that many of us have a staggering number of online accounts. In the unexpected event of your death, it will be difficult for your executor to properly close out your affairs without being able to gain access to an inventory of all your online accounts. Indeed, even while you are alive, you may have so many accounts that it is difficult for you to make a full inventory! However, doing so is a good first step to getting control over your digital legacy.
Here are a some of the digital accounts you should include in your inventory, from the obvious to the easily forgettable:
- Credit card
- Cell phone
- Toll transponder (iPass, EZPass, etc)
- Magazine subscriptions
- Amazon, ebay, etc.
- Hotel rewards, frequent flyer, etc.
- File storage
- Social media
- Web hosting
Making an inventory will better help you prepare you to meet with an estate planning attorney, to discuss strategies to deal with your digital assets. For security reasons, you may not choose to share this list with family members while you are alive, but it will be useful to have when discussing a digital estate planning strategy with your attorney.