Creating a digital estate plan is an increasingly important concern when it comes to modern estate planning. Yet, many individuals have not yet taken the necessary steps to organize and secure their digital legacies.
If you’re among those who haven’t created a digital estate plan, it’s important to consider the potential consequences of leaving your digital assets unaddressed. These assets encompass everything from your email and social media accounts to digital currencies, online storage and intellectual property stored anywhere online or in the Cloud.
What’s the big deal?
A failure to leave behind a digital estate plan can lead to several challenges for your loved ones after your passing or if you become incapacitated. For example, without clear instructions and access to information, your family members may struggle to retrieve important documents, photos or even financial assets stored online. This can add an additional layer of stress during an already difficult time. Moreover, unresolved digital assets can become targets for identity theft and fraud, posing a risk to your estate and your loved ones’ security.
To start creating a digital estate plan, you will want to inventory your digital assets, including login information for online accounts, digital files and any other valuable or significant digital properties you own. Once you have a comprehensive list, the next step is to decide what should happen to these assets. For instance, you might want certain accounts to be deleted, others to be archived and passed on to family members or digital currencies to be transferred to specific beneficiaries.
If you haven’t created a digital estate plan yet, now is the time to consider doing so. By taking proactive steps to manage your digital legacy, you can better ensure that your digital assets are handled according to your wishes and that your loved ones are spared unnecessary complications during an already challenging time.