Who Takes Care of My Digital Legacy?

Who Takes Care of My Digital Legacy?

Digital accounts are incredibly valuable assets. They make our lives easier by allowing us access with the touch of a finger. However, it can be somewhat complicated in death. Online accounts contain information about us and our personal lives, including sensitive information. 

A plan for your digital assets to be taken care of after death is essential. You should create a will and appoint someone to oversee your digital accounts. Your executor can then take care of all your financial, social media, website, and other digital accounts after death.

Why is Having Your Digital Legacy Taken Care of Important?

When a person passes away, it isn’t uncommon for their accounts to have no one in control. Naming someone to take care of online accounts can be overlooked when preparing for later years. If there is a sudden death, there might not be any documentation to find login information and passwords. Having your digital legacy in good hands is vital. 

For many reasons, a spouse, a child, a trusted friend, or a legally appointed individual might need to access your online accounts. Here are a few:

  • Bills need to be paid.
  • Contact information needs to be updated.
  • Your accounts (bank, investment, social, shopping) may need to be closed.
  • Someone needs access to your tax records.
  • Your wish was to have a memorial page on your social media.

Sometimes, trusted family members cannot access critical financial accounts without login information. The same is true for your social media accounts, online shopping services, and any website where you have an account with login and password. 

You don’t want your loved ones to go through the hassle and time of figuring out what passwords were used for which accounts, or worse, having the passwords expire and losing access completely. You might want someone to continue managing your social media and websites and someone who monitors your accounts to make sure they will not be hacked or used for malicious purposes.

Deciding Who Should Take Over Your Digital Legacy

The thought of death and how you want things done after your life is over is sometimes uncomfortable to talk about. Understandably so, however, it is important. Sit down and think about your closest friends and family.

Naming someone can be challenging because the person you leave your accounts with will have access to your personal data. Think about who will most likely keep your account secure and handle your accounts how you’d like. The person you pick should also be someone you trust and feel comfortable with. If there are children in the family, it might be a good idea for them to have access. It’s also important that whomever you pick knows how to use all the apps on the account, so they can help with anything that might come up in the future.

Set Up Your Digital Legacy

Good news! It is relatively painless and easy to get your digital legacy set up. 

  1. Compile: Create a list of all accounts, logins, and passwords. Write them, type them up, and put them somewhere safe, in a safe deposit box or a password-protected file.
  2. Consider: Consider every single account you have—all your social media, bank accounts, credit cards, investments, insurance, etc. 
  3. Assign: Decide who you want to take charge of your digital legacy. Who do you want to run your social media and websites? Who do you trust?
  4. Discuss: After you decide, you can discuss this with family and friends, if you would like, although you don’t have to.
  5. Legal document: You can go to an attorney to get a legal document or a will, stating they are in control of your digital legacy. 

Talking about death and legacy can be uncomfortable, but it is an important topic. Think about making things easier on your family and keeping your digital legacy running smoothly long after your days. With a few simple steps, you will be on your way to protecting the online accounts that you’ve spent so much creating and maintaining. Planning ensures that your digital legacy is adequately cared for when you’re gone. Your loved ones will appreciate it, and you’ll know that your wishes are being respected.

If you have questions or want to learn more, contact us at Guideway Legal. We’re here to help.