Thursday, April 3, 2014
With the advent of technology permeating society, it becomes important to plan for your “digital death.” Many of us will leave behind email accounts, Facebook profiles, blogs, online businesses and more. Thus, if we do not properly prepare, our loved ones could lose these parts of us as well. Below are 5 ways to help prepare:
- Document Digital Accounts. Try to log all the digital accounts you may have including email accounts, financial institutions and policies, online businesses, social media accounts, and sites where you have registered credit card information.
- Give Instructions How to Handle the Account. Upon death, allocate which accounts should be deleted. Elect someone to retrieve other accounts, noting your username and password.
- Understand Your Account’s Terms of Service. Yahoo’s terms of service do not allow your account to be turned over to anyone else and are subject to permanent deletion. However, Google offers an Inactive Account Manager that allows you to dictate how your possessions in the site should be handled. Decide what settings work best for you.
- Determine Where to Save Your Information. Find a secure location so that a loved one can easily access your information in the event of your death.
- Obtain Legal Advice and Inform Family Where Information is Saved. Get legal advice to verify you have complied with state laws. Make sure to tell a loved one where this information is stored so they have a plan in place as well.
See Laura Shin, The New Financial Task We All Need to Tackle ASAP, Forbes, March 31, 2014.