Estate Planning in a Virtual World

Roos said it’s important that people plan ahead and put “someone in charge of these digital assets and giving the family the opportunity to take over accounts if something were to happen, so they can control the information so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.”

O00MGHPXG6Have you heard the buzz about digital estate planning? For those with online accounts—this includes online bank accounts, social media accounts, and photography accounts—these are part of your digital estate. And just like your physical assets, your digital assets need protection too.

A recent kcra.com report, titled Have you planned your digital afterlife?, reminds us that a digital estate can cause real headaches for grieving loved ones who may be attempting to access those accounts. The report recommends that people write down their passwords and make sure their trusted relatives will have access.

Google has the option of having trusted contacts access their accounts or to have the data deleted after a specific period of inactivity. Facebook recently started the “legacy contact” option, which lets their users select someone to manage their pages after death. If a user doesn’t do anything, and Facebook discovers that the individual has passed, his or her posts will remain active and “memorialized” according to that user’s settings.

The original article says that it’s important for you to plan ahead and put someone in charge of these digital assets so your family would have the opportunity to take over if something were to happen to you—allowing them to control the information. One more thing:  your digital estate planning should also incorporate your digital devices, like cellphones and laptops, along with the data they contain.

Pictures, music, videos, and documents make up our digital life. Make sure that you’re prepared to pass those on. We can guide you through estate planning for today’s world. Get started by attending one of our free estate planning Workshops. Please contact us at 360-975-7770 or at nicolle@nwlegacylaw.com to sign up and learn more! 

Reference: kcra.com (February 27, 2015) Have you planned your digital afterlife?

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