Planning your Digital Legacy

Many people sitting down to create their first Estate Plan think they’ll only be planning for their personal and real property and how it will be distributed. And that’s fine if that’s all you care about.

But, what about your online presence – your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Often, when people die unexpectedly, their social media becomes a memorial page for the deceased owner. It just exists, as long as the social media company will allow it. People post messages on its wall or feed, some even send private messages to the account, but no one will read them.

By planning your digital legacy, you can make sure that your online presence is carried on by your family and that those unread messages become something to help your family grieve.

This all starts with compiling your accounts and passwords to ultimately be passed on to your executor or family. This will need to be updated regularly (how often do you get prompted to change your password because of some data breach?) and consolidated to ease the transition.

You can also create an cloud-based storage account (like DropBox) and store all of your digital memories – pictures, videos, journals, message, etc. – to be passed on to your family. You could have some great memories stored online. You don’t want them to die with you.

You digital legacy also includes any online currency, domain names, websites, video game characters, profiles, or anything else that’s based online and isn’t tangible. These often get left out, especially if you die without a will. If it’s important to you – plan for it.