These days, estate planning is about more than deciding who gets all your money after you die. It also involves digital estate planning: the process of organizing your digital property assets including devices, online accounts, services, and passwords − and making arrangements for what should happen to it all after you’re gone.
Here’s a quick look at how to start:
Make a list of digital assets
Include everything from hardware to social media accounts to online banking accounts to streaming services to home utilities that you manage online. If you use a password manager program, share your access information to that account. You don’t have to share this private information today, but you need to make a plan so it’s available for someone you trust in case of an emergency.
How should each asset be handled? While you may want some assets to be archived and saved (your online travel photos perhaps), you may want others to be deleted or erased (online dating profiles), while others should be transferred to family members, friends, or business colleagues.
Name a digital executor
This is the person who carries out your digital estate wishes. In most states, a digital executor isn’t legally binding or even an enforceable designation. Even so, you can still name a digital executor, as this person can be designated by your executor to follow the wishes laid out in your digital estate plan, or can at least help your executor with the digital aspects of your estate.
Store safely but accessible
You can keep this with an attorney, an online storage service like Everplans, in a locked file cabinet or safe, or in a password-protected file or program. (Just remember to store the password for the password-protected program with one of the previous three options so someone can gain access.)
No matter how you decide to store your digital estate plan, it's important to tell one or two people you trust − your spouse, your adult children, or your digital executor − where the plan is and how to access it.
What do you think: Do you care what happens to your social media accounts after you’re gone?
This article is provided by Everplans — a life and legacy planning company dedicated to transforming the way people get their families organized. For more information, visit: everplans.com
Neither Transamerica nor its agents or representatives may provide tax, investment, or legal advice. Anyone to whom this material is promoted, marketed, or recommended should consult with and rely on their own independent tax and legal advisors and financial professional regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented herein.
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