In estate law, we have simplified the process of planning people’s estates in a way that goes smoothly for their families after they pass. But in this age of social media, online banking and everything being in a digital format, there’s so much more to worry about when someone passes away. For example, what happens to your Facebook account after you pass away? Or your music libraries well worth hundreds of dollars? Or all of the photos and accounts you have saved on your computer? While most estate plans do a great job of managing physical belongings, it’s now important to think about your digital assets.
Your digital assets will need to be managed, archived, transferred or deleted after you pass. When you think about all of your digital assets, think about all of your online subscriptions, digital photos and any secure information like passwords and logins that you have.
A digital asset is any electronic record an individual has a right to or interest in. This includes your online accounts, all of your information stored online and all of your electronic devices. Most people have several different logins and it is important to leave that information in your estate so your executor can handle the information appropriately.
You will need to name a digital executor in your estate plan. This may be someone different from your physical estate executor or the same person. Just make sure it’s someone you trust. Give your executor a list of all of your digital accounts and how you want them to be handled when you’re gone. This process may seem overwhelming, but take your time and make sure you’ve listed all of them. Then detail out what you want to be done with them. You should even transfer any photos, videos, music, movies to someone else.