Most people today live much of their lives online. You likely communicate, work and store information digitally.
Do you know what will happen to your digital assets and online presence when you pass away? That’s where digital estate planning comes into play, ensuring a smooth transition of your online life to your loved ones after you’re gone.
What is digital estate planning?
Digital estate planning involves managing and distributing your digital assets and online accounts upon your death or incapacitation. These assets can include social media profiles, email accounts, financial accounts, digital photos and more. It’s a proactive way to protect your digital legacy and make it easier for your heirs to handle your online affairs.
Identifying your digital assets
The first step in digital estate planning is creating an inventory of your digital assets. List all your online accounts, including social media, email, banking and subscription services. This list should also include digital files, such as photos, documents and videos, stored on various devices and cloud services.
Appoint a digital executor
Like a traditional will, you can designate a digital executor responsible for managing your digital estate. This person should be someone you trust and tech-savvy enough to handle online accounts. Provide them access to a list of your accounts and passwords or use a password manager to securely store this information.
Setting instructions for your accounts
Specify your wishes for each online account in your plan. For example, you can instruct your digital executor to delete your social media profiles, transfer ownership of a blog or website or preserve and distribute digital photos and files to specific family members.
Understanding digital estate planning is crucial in today’s interconnected world. It allows you to protect your digital legacy and ensure a smooth transition of your online life to your loved ones when the time comes. Take the necessary steps now to safeguard your digital assets and provide clear instructions for their management in the future.