by Terri North, Legal Strategies, PC
My alma mater, Kalamazoo College, recently published an informative article about the Keys to Your Digital Diary. The article asked you to imagine what would happen to your digital estate if you passed away. Would your spouse or children know how to log in to your email? Would they be able to access, or shut down, your social media accounts, and would you want them to do so? Would they have the authority to cancel online subscriptions and auto-renewals?
The article listed four easy ways to start securing your digital estate:
1) Make a list of digital assets and passwords. Include usernames, passwords, and security questions (and answers!).
2) Safely store this information. The list should be stored on a USB flash drive or CD, or printed out and kept in a secure physical location that can be accessed by your estate representative(s), as opposed to being stored on your computer (which could be locked).
3) Document a plan for how you would like your digital life to be handled if you weren't present. You might want some or most financial accounts closed down immediately, but maybe you want your social media accounts left open for a time so friends and family can communicate. Answer these questions in advance for your loved ones so they don't have to wonder if they are doing the right thing when you're gone.
4) Consult your estate planning attorney. Review the laws in your state and then have your attorney draft an estate plan that includes your digital assets and addresses how you would like them to be managed upon your death.
* This blog was originally posted by Legal Strategies, PC.