1. Virtual Money Matters
What ARE your digital assets?
These include any money you hold in online-only accounts, like PayPal, Kindle or iTunes. Oh, and don’t forget your Bitcoins and/or WOW (World of WarCraft) holdings! Personal records, career information, hobbies, projects and entertainment files can even amount to tens of thousands in digital asset evaluations by some security companies. Sometimes this can even amount to millions, if you’re a celebrity.
What do you want to do with your digital assets?
The same way you’d give great thought to your other ‘offline’ estate planning decisions, like whom would make health care decisions for you when incapacitated, whom would take care of your children’s person and financial well-being, or which charity to want to endow, it’s similarly smart to be as thoughtful ‘online’ decisions. Do you want your Facebook, LinkedIn or business website pages to be taken down? Would you prefer to highlight a special write-up to all your online friends? Who should receive your virtual ‘cash’? The more detail often the better and if you don’t know what to do, don’t be afraid to ask for professional advice. I mean did you know that some social service providers rules may actually trump some estate plans because their terms and conditions already have agreements built-in for after your death? For instance, Google has an Inactive Account Manager tool that notifies people you if your Google accounts, like Gmail or YouTube, are inactive for too long. Facebook can even just delete a deceased person’s account or memorialize a user’s timeline.
3. Don’t Forget to Appoint a Digital Executor
Who will execute your decisions, regarding your digital assets?
While the world of digital estate planning is still relatively new and some of the regulations are rather fuzzy privacy laws and many providers’ terms of service can make it more difficult for someone to access than your bank account, even after you’re gone. So, it’s wise to actually appoint a digital executor in your will by clarifying this as an allowable responsibility. Furthermore, the same way it’s wise to keep all your other estate planning paperwork organized and safe (think deeds, safe codes etc.) it is wise add to that security stockpile an inventory of all your online log-in data.