When you think about estate planning, most people think about their physical possessions, their real estate and their financial assets, but in this day and age, you also need to consider your digital assets. You may have as much as 20 years of active digital presence. This can include documents, photos, and on-line accounts such as Facebook, Google, back-up services, Linked In, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. Such digital accounts generally have no expiration date.
It is important to consider what will happen when you die to your accounts and the data contained them. It is important to consider what will happen if you do nothing, and decide if that is what you want to happen. It is an often overlooked part of estate planning.
Many online accounts allow you plan during life for what will happen to the account upon death. However, this is all very new and some of the most popular online accounts do not provide a way to plan for what will happen to the account upon the account owner’s death. For any accounts which do not allow you to plan, it is desirable to establish a plan now with a trusted loved one.