Your Digital Estate Plan – Part 1

Have you given any thought to what will happen to your digital assets?  This is an often overlook area in any estate plan.  We remember to take care of our houses, cars, bank accounts and insurance policies.  But what happens to your frequent flyer miles, facebook page, linked in profile, credit card reward points and the list goes on and on.  Furthermore, will those left behind know your passwords for these account?

At the very least you should have a list of your digital accounts along with usernames and passwords.  This document will need to be updated as you add and delete accounts or change your passwords.  Most importantly your executor or the trusted individual of your choosing must know where to find this list.

Just as important, the responsible person needs to know what your wishes are.  Do you want your facebook account to reflect that you have passed, should it be removed or left as if nothing has changed?  Should your email and linked in contacts be notified of your passing?  Sometimes it is easier to decide who gets the house than it is to answer these questions.  How much harder will it be for those left behind if you do not provide direction?

For the small business owner your personal and company digital assets may be entertwined.  However, you may not want the same person winding up your business and addressing your personal assets.  A digital estate plan can separate those assets and give access to different individuals according to what function they are serving.

There are companies now offering products to address some of these issues.  You can store a list of your digital assets, user names and passwords.  Then upon notification of your death the company will provide this information to the person of your choosing or in some cases follow the directions you have provided directly.  A few such companies are , ,

Digital assets part 2 will provide some of the policies of the platforms for the more popular digital assets.

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Law Offices of Debbie J. Cunningham

Debbie Cunningham is an Irving attorney providing affordable estate planning to the Dallas/ Fort-Worth areas. She understands the steps you should take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Debbie is family-focused and wants to ensure her clients are fully informed on the options that are available for their families. Debbie’s own blended family has given her valuable insights into the complexities of family dynamics.

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