If you attended our recent “Kicking the Bucket List” seminar last month, it may have prompted you to start thinking about funeral pre-planning, or other aspects of end-of-life planning. Unfortunately, some people don’t start thinking about estate planning until late in the game and some people never get to it at all. Even those who do make the smart decision to plan ahead for the inevitable, may still not consider what happens to their digital assets and online accounts.
In the past, people have focused on who to leave the house, the car, the savings account, or the family business to. Assets were primarily physical and monetary. Today, however, the number of digital assets we acquire over the course of our lives is often more than we realize, and therefore, we tend to forget to keep track of them all. If we don’t know how to access all our digital assets and online accounts, then how can we expect our loved ones to be able to when we’re gone?
The Digital Era
In an age where more and more happens online, it’s important to think about what happens to these accounts when we die. Do you have one or more digital or online accounts that hold private and important information? The fact is, most of us do. And, most of us have no idea what will happen to these accounts and this information after we’re gone.
Whenever we click, “subscribe,” “submit,” “sign up,” “become a member,” or any number of similar buttons to create a new online or digital account, we don’t always think about how long that account may exist for. In many cases, it will exist forever, unless we cancel it, which leaves some people wondering – what happens to our digital assets when we die?
Worse, some people may only think of it when a loved one has died and they’re left trying to make sense of things like online banking, social media accounts, photo and cloud storage and shopping accounts.
In some cases, our digital accounts are automatically cancelled upon notification of our deaths. Some of our digital assets may be specifically accounted for within a trust or will, and therefore, will be taken care of appropriately. But what happens to those accounts that aren’t automatically cancelled, and aren’t included in our trust or will? Will they go on existing forever and ever, containing digitally-stored information that our loved ones can never get access to, simply because we forgot to give someone the login information before we died?
No matter where you are in your life, if you have digital assets where critical and personal information is stored, you should start deciding now how they will be managed after you die. We understand how overwhelming it can be to manage your digital assets so they are taken care of when you’re gone. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive resource to help you through the process.
This free resource includes tips and steps to managing different types of digital assets upon death. You can download the tool today, and save it to your computer as a handy guide, and/or share it with your friends.