In the era of all-encompassing apps, it’s essential to consider what happens to our digital footprint once we’re no longer here. From social media accounts to digital assets like cryptocurrencies, our online presence continues even after we pass away. To safeguard your digital legacy, it’s crucial to take proactive steps and develop an estate plan that includes your digital assets. In this article, we will explore five practical tips to protect your digital assets and ensure your online presence is handled according to your wishes.
Conduct a Comprehensive Inventory
Begin by taking stock of your social media accounts and digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. Digital assets are more easily forgotten when estate planning since they can sometimes be out of sight and out of mind. Having a clear understanding of what needs protection enables your estate planning attorney to prepare and safeguard your assets effectively.
Appoint a Trusted Digital Executor
Select a person you trust to handle your digital assets after your passing. This individual should have a solid grasp of your assets, know how to protect them, and handle their liquidation if necessary. Additionally, consider the protection of sensitive information stored on devices like phones or laptops, such as text conversations and emails.
Familiarize Yourself with Platform Policies
Review the policies of various social media platforms and apps regarding the management of accounts after a user’s death. Understand the requirements and necessary documentation your appointed executor will need to close or manage your accounts effectively, such as your decedent’s name, profile link, death certificate, and proof of relationship. Apple, for example, has very strict requirements for your loved ones to access your accounts if you fail to add them as a legacy contact.
Explore Memorial Accounts
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer options to memorialize accounts, preserving your photos while allowing friends and family to post comments and tag your memorialized account. Legacy pages provide another avenue for loved ones to share memories and messages. Discuss these possibilities with your estate planning attorney.
Incorporate Digital Assets into Your Estate Plan
To ensure comprehensive protection, include your digital assets in your estate plan. Enlisting the help of an estate planning attorney will streamline the process, guaranteeing that your accounts and online currencies are distributed according to your wishes. Remember to keep your passwords and security information within your estate plan or share them with your appointed executor for easy access.
As our lives intertwine with the digital realm, planning for the management of our digital assets has become an integral part of estate planning. By taking proactive measures to handle our online presence after death, we can alleviate the burden on our loved ones and preserve our digital legacy according to our desires. For assistance in securing your digital assets within your estate plan, contact Windrose Law Center for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping you create and protect your digital assets effectively.