Do you have pictures, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or blog accounts and an Internet presence? What happens to online property when we pass away? These issues must be considered when doing estate planning.
Anything connected to your digital image can outlive you. How do you want your image managed? What if your surviving heirs decide to remove your blogs from the internet against your wishes? Would you want to place your electronic archives on someone else’s website or what happens to your current website? Online service providers may have different policies. Some online entities prohibit transferring accounts to others.
You may wish to have an offline backup of things you cherish, like photographs. You may even want to create an inventory of your online accounts and property. Share your passwords with someone you trust and tell them you put your passwords here and this is how you’ve stored them. Provide a simple list with the names and ways to access your electronic data and specifically what your wishes are to avoid estate problems.
Your estate planning documents should authorize someone to handle your digital “belongings”. When choosing a fiduciary consider whether the person you chose as Power of Attorney, Executor, or Trustee has technical understanding of how to manage digital property.