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Why include digital and social media accounts in an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Estate Planning

Did you know that any content you store in digital format can be considered a digital asset? Most people accumulate a substantial online presence in the course of their lives through email accounts, internet-based enterprises and blogs.

In an era dominated by digital footprints and virtual interactions, integrating digital and social media accounts into your estate plan is not just an intriguing idea; it’s a strategic move. This decision can better ensure a seamless transition of your online presence after you’re gone.

Your digital legacy

From social media profiles to digital assets like cryptocurrency and online businesses, your online presence serves as an extension of your physical life. Recognizing this, it becomes imperative to consider the fate of these assets as part of a comprehensive estate plan.

Additionally, identifying and safeguarding valuable digital assets, such as domain names, digital art and intellectual property, can better ensure their rightful transfer and protection.

Legal implications and challenges

Many online platforms have specific terms of service that dictate what happens to an account in the event of the user’s death. Understanding these terms and incorporating them into your estate plan is crucial. Some platforms allow for the appointment of a digital executor, a person entrusted with managing your digital assets according to your wishes.

In your estate plan, outline a clear strategy for managing digital assets securely. This may involve providing a trusted individual with access credentials, utilizing password managers or even specifying instructions for account deletion to help prevent unauthorized access.

Including digital and social media accounts in your estate plan is a proactive step toward embracing the future of estate planning. By recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities your digital life presents, you’ll help to pave the way for a seamless and secure transition of your digital legacy.