Online wills are becoming increasingly popular as the digital world continues to expand. This article…
How to Begin Digital Estate Planning
Digital estate planning has recently become an important task for those looking to take care of their end of life planning. This article will help you understand what it is. Also, it will show you how you can get started making arrangements for your loved ones now.
What Is Digital Estate Planning?
Estate planning in general simply refers to making arrangements for your property and important assets after you die. As people’s digital lives continue to expand, so do their digital assets. These can include digital financial accounts,. Examples are bank accounts, credit cards, PayPal accounts, online shopping accounts, and bills linked to your bank account.
It can also include more personal features of your digital life: photos, videos, email accounts, social media accounts, saved documents, and personal websites. Digital estate planning refers to your final wishes regarding your digital assets.
After you die, your loved ones will need access to these accounts to close them, transfer funds, or move their contents. Each of these accounts comes with its own passwords and means of access. As technology becomes more involved in our lives, digital estate planning has become an essential part of the end of life planning process. Without clear guidelines about how to handle your digital accounts and services, your loved ones will be left behind with the stress of having to make these decisions on their own.
You should also consider what you would like done with your physical devices and hard drives. These could include smartphones, computers, tablets, and any other electronic devices you have. While your plans for these can be included in your official last will and testament, it’s also a good idea to list out their passwords, codes, or other account information they might have. This way your loved ones can access and use them when the time comes.
One of the most critical aspects of digital estate planning is leaving a detailed record of all account passwords, codes, usernames, and emails. It can be very difficult for loved ones to access your accounts without the necessary log-in information after you die. My Family Documents offers a unique storage tool to sort and securely store all your important passwords in one place. With My Family Documents, you can make sure all your information is organized and accessible.
Unauthorized access is prohibited on many sites, meaning that without the correct log-in information, loved ones are left to deal with the stress and frustration of being locked out of your accounts. Some privacy laws also extend to the digital world. Officially expressing your wishes for your digital accounts, along with their necessary log-in information will give your loved ones the right to make sure that happens.
The loss of a loved one is already a painful, grief-filled time. You don’t want to make it any harder for your loved ones. Making arrangements for your digital assets should be one of your top priorities to help your loved ones manage your affairs when the time comes.
How to Create a Plan for Your Digital Estate
You can help your loved ones avoid extra stress by getting started on your digital estate planning now. It may seem overwhelming at first. You likely have dozens of unique online account passwords and several different electronic devices. That’s all the more reasons to start making plans for them now. Here is a list of things to consider when making plans for your digital assets.
List all your log-in information for important accounts
Your loved ones will need to access many of your accounts and devices after you die. This is an easy way to make sure they can take care of your important business without having to jump through extra hurdles.
Write out your wishes for how you want your digital assets handled
Giving your loved ones access isn’t enough. You need a plan for what you want them to do with your accounts. There are many important questions you should consider when figuring out what to do with your digital assets.
Who do you want to have access to your sensitive information like email, photos, and saved digital files? Do you want your social media accounts immediately closed? What would you like to happen to your personal photos and videos? If your digital assets contribute to your income—such as an online store or a personal website—do you want them to be passed down to someone? Or would you like them shut down? Be sure to clearly outline your wishes so your loved ones can know they’re doing what you would have wanted.
Decide what you would like done with your electronic devices
You likely have several personal devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and cameras. These are valuable digital assets that you want to make sure you’ve accounted for as part of your digital estate planning. You should decide if you want someone to inherit them or if you’d rather donate or dispose of them.
Give your digital estate executor permission to access your email
Unlike other digital accounts, email is guarded with stricter privacy laws. Important information, like bills and other documents, is often sent to email. For your loved ones to be able to manage your affairs, you should leave explicit permission for the executor of your digital estate to be able to access your email. This way they won’t run into any legal trouble when trying to handle your email messages.
Organize and store your information with My Family Documents
Now that you understand what digital estate planning is and what you should include in your arrangements, it’s time to figure out how to organize and store all that information.
My Family Documents offers a secure USB flash drive where you can store all your important documents and personal information in one place. It comes pre-programmed with organizational software designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate.
All your information is encrypted, so you can securely store account passwords and personal documents. This way your loved ones will have access to everything they’ll need to manage your digital affairs when the time comes. Be sure to tell them where you choose to store the flash drive so they can always find it.
Digital estate planning might be a recent development in end of life planning. It’s important that you consider how you would like your digital assets handled. My Family Documents can help you store your important information. It can also give your loved ones the peace of mind that they’ll be able to access what they need. Get started on your digital estate planning today!