In today’s world, almost everyone is active online. We store our precious pictures, videos in the cloud and have an array of digital accounts. Digital Assets are becoming a very important part of our lives.
”By 2100 there could be 4.9bn dead users on Facebook”! – Guardian
Have you ever considered what will happen to your Facebook account, emails & pictures after you are gone or become incapacitated?
Who will be able to access these sentimental ‘digital assets’?
If you have a lot of personal items stored online it may be worth thinking about what you want to be done with it.
Digital Assets Defined
Digital assets are simply assets that exist online.
Examples of digital assets:
- Social media accounts (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Online bank accounts
- Virtual currencies
- Information, personal photography or documents stored in the cloud
- Income-generating websites or blogs
- Email accounts
- Cryptocurrency, ICO Tokens & blockchain investments
- Netflix, Amazon, shopping accounts – online subscriptions
”More than two-thirds of the UK’s total population are active on social media. The average Brit has at least seven social media accounts” – ‘Social media statistics in the UK’ – Talkwalker
It might now be time to create the Digital Estate Plan so that should something happen your loved ones would be able to access much-needed information. Having a plan for these types of assets will also help with the process of getting accounts locked or closed.
It’s important not to neglect your digital traces.
Start planning today.
Here are some simple things you can do to leave your online affairs in order:
1. Name a Digital Executor – A Digital Executor’s job depends on what you want to be done with your digital property after your death. This is someone who will get the passwords to all email and social media accounts. Therefore, choose the right person to make sure you leave your digital affairs in safe hands.
Remember to explain to your digital executor all responsibilities of the role so they can consider your request properly.
Note: Don’t forget to name your digital executor in your will to prove that they have the power to act on your behalf.
2. List all your accounts – Make you digital executor aware of all your account and include accounts no longer active. Provide as much information about them as possible, such as:
- Name of social media account e.g. Twitter
- Your social media handle ( a handle follows an @ symbol) or link to your profile
- Your email address & the digital assets – photos, videos, documents
Leave a list with username and account information for your family or friends to handle if you don’t want to formally name someone as your digital executor.
3. Document your digital wishes – Include your instructions on what you would like to happen to each account, e.g. memorialize or maybe remove it. Remember to include information on what would you like to do with your digital assets like photos and videos.
Consider the emotional value of photographs and family videos.
Note: Memorialized accounts are a way for people to remember and celebrate those who’ve passed away it also helps keep it secure by preventing anyone from logging into it.
4. Back up your digital presence – Regularly review your login information and the list of your digital assets. Make sure you update your list regularly and keep all details up to date.
Once you’re ready, go through your plans with your digital executor or family to clarify anything they aren’t sure of.
Do you have a Digital Estate Plan? Would your family know how to access your Digital Assets in the event of an emergency?
Don’t overlook your online presence. A digital estate plan eliminates the need to track down passwords and can help you save your high-value digital files. Make sure you choose someone who will be able to have control over your accounts and be aware of your wishes. This can help your family avoid making difficult decisions later.
Read More: Does Your Family Know Who Handles Your Legal Matters?
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