You already understand the importance of creating an estate plan that includes a will, trusts, powers of attorney and advance directives. But have you put any thought into your digital estate plan?
As technology progresses, our lives become increasingly digitized. Much of our information is stored in the cloud, and right now, you might be the only person who can access any of it.
What to include in a digital estate plan
If you are like most people, much of your life is probably spent online. Emails, social media, bank accounts and other financial records require a username and password; some may require multi-factor authentication.
If you were to pass away or become incapacitated, your loved ones would need to go through a lot of red tape to access your online accounts, adding more stress to an already difficult time.
Developing your digital estate plan is essential in preparing for the future. It lets you determine who can access your online accounts and virtual property. Here are some of the key elements to include in your estate plan:
- An inventory of your digital assets, such as online accounts, social media profiles, email accounts and digital possessions, such as cryptocurrency wallets
- Login credentials and access information for each of your accounts
- Designate a trusted individual who will have access to your digital assets and be responsible for managing them for you
- Instructions on how you want the digital assets handled after you die
- You will need to update your digital estate plan as things change
Making your digital life a part of your estate plan ensures that all your online accounts and assets are accounted for. The right people will manage it to protect your privacy from unauthorized access.