As technology continues to evolve and become an integral part of our daily lives, it’s increasingly imperative that we have a complete understanding of every place we have left a digital footprint.
In today’s world, creating an estate plan for your digital assets is just as important as creating one for your physical assets.
What is a digital estate plan?
A digital estate plan informs your loved ones how to access your online accounts and your final wishes for how you wish each one to be handled. It should cover a wide range of digital information, including:
- Email accounts
- Social media profiles
- Online banking and investments
- Digital photos and documents
- Websites and domain names
- Online shopping accounts
- Rewards points or airline miles
For each digital asset, you need to include login information, including passwords, security questions, and if they require multi-factor authentication. You should also have any linked email accounts used for username or password recovery. Without this information, your family may be unable to access your accounts due to privacy laws.
Social media platforms each have different methods for handling accounts for the deceased. You can decide if you want your account deleted or, in the case of Facebook and Instagram, have it converted to a memorial page.
Even though you have already named an executor for your physical estate plan, you will also need to name one for your digital estate. It could be the same person if you wish. However, the person who manages your digital assets should be tech-savvy.
You will also need to have a secure way to store this information. It can be a physical document in a safe deposit box, a password-protected digital file or an online service.
Just like your physical estate plan, your digital plan is not a one-time thing. As you add or delete accounts or change login information, it’s crucial to update your digital plan to reflect those changes.