The ways in which we connect and communicate online has transformed our very existence. In fact, you may have raised an eyebrow or two when you recognized and acknowledged your dependence on the internet. From your computer desk you can purchase holiday gifts, pay your electric bill, research vacation spots, chat with fellow hobbyists and/or read newspapers articles from around the world. Many people bank and budget online as well. However, every time you register with sites, enter your user name and choose a password, you leave digital fingerprints. The question is, “What happens to all the information left online when I die?” In the same way technology has changed life, the internet has changed death.
Now when writing your last will and testament, protecting and/or passing the information to someone you love and trust, you must consider all your online information and assets as well. This includes bank accounts, PayPal credit, iTunes music or income generating social media. If you don’t specify what should be done, the government can take control of the monies, or your assets may be categorized as “unclaimed” and sit forever waiting for someone to provide legal details (which will require processing fees).
First off, you need to sit down and list all of your relevant accounts along with user name(s) and passwords. This information will become part of your estate plan and needs to be kept updated. Don’t list this information within the will since the documents will be available to the public, and this can lead to hacking. Only a trusted estate appointee should have access. However, you will can spell out who will received said assets.
Other items to consider when writing your will include advanced health directive, guardianships for underage children or beloved pets and charitable bequeaths.
You don’t have to do this all alone. WillBox.me provides services to help you manage digital assets, electronic wills and virtual accounts. Their unique encryption and confidentiality will insure an organized, online afterlife for your family and loved ones. Go to WillBox.me for more information.
November 30, 2015