Prepare for Your Digital Death with an Online Estate Plan

Written by on September 13, 2012 in Technology - No comments | Print this page

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Death is such a scary thought for most of us, and thinking about our own demise can be difficult… but we all know preparing and thinking about it is necessary. Not only do we want to prepare our living wills and trusts so that our assets go to family – but now, we also have to consider our digital lives.

So many of us have the biggest portion of our business and personal information in digital form, that an online estate plan is necessary to keep the thieves at bay. Not to mention allowing our family access to our financial records to help them carry on should something happen to us.

But what is an Online Estate Plan anyway and how do we go about setting one up? It can be compared to a living will or trust, for your digital legacy.

Here are some great suggestions that should get you started:

Get organized:

Identify and organize your digital assets before seeing a digital estate planner. This means figuring out how many and where you can find the following:

  • Email accounts
  • Important documents
  • Photos and images
  • Audio/Video files
  • Desktops/laptops
  • Tablets
  • Storage devices
  • Smartphones

Also, you need to list accounts that you use regularly, and what their access requires, such as email, software licenses, profiles on social networking, FTP accounts, domain names and registration accounts, financial accounts, bank accounts, and online stores that have your personal information in their databases.

Contact an estate planner:

With the rise of Facebook profiles sitting open when the user is deceased, as well as the major theft of social security numbers on fraud tax returns, getting your digital assets in order through a planner might not only save you theft, but can also sort through and delete or carry on your digital life.

Depending on your financial situation, and how much digital data you actually own should help you determine an estate planner. Each suggestion has a link – check them out to see if they fit your digital needs.

Some trusted online companies are:

  • Secure Safe – highly secure online storage for your documents and passwords.
  • Executors Resource, Inc. – Estate Logic through credit unions, banks, and insurance companies to organize and manage your estate and legacy information.
  • Asset Lock: Store your digital self, including your estate and living will in an electronic safe deposit box that can be accessed 24/7.
  • My Internet Data: Have your data removed upon death.
  • Aftersteps: An online guide to handling the legal, financial and logistical steps before passing away.
  • Life Ensured: Handles financial transfers and affairs, passing on passwords to your chosen point person, etc., and is can delete accounts you choose.
  • The Digital Undertakers: Helping you organize your digital life, to make it easier on your loved ones.

With more and more digital ‘life preservers’ being established every day, there are many to choose from – they allow you the convenience of choosing what best suits your needs, as well as what is best for your family.

This is a guest post. Claude Moelan is a writer for Life Insurance Finder in Sydney, Australia. When not indulging on her favourite pastimes in social media and all things digital, she can be found baking happily at home and Instagram-ing her cat. Learn more about Digital Estate Planning with the Guide to Protect Yourself Online.

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