Most people of a certain age have a digital footprint, and often there are things that they wished had not been published. As well as social media, there are things such as banking, online shopping history and everything you have put into the cloud. It is hard to know what will become of the information when you die. But, if you die suddenly, it will be even more confusing. Thus, it is good to consider this as part of your estate planning as it is an issue that is going to increase rather than diminish. Besides, future generations will have a lot more stored online.
Your digital details
Recent research showed that around 60% of adults have not arranged for the care of their digital assets should they not be around to deal with them. More worryingly, a larger number have said that they are not intending to do anything as it is of no concern to them. When this happens, the people left behind could have problems in a number of areas including:
- Obtaining photographs that are of interest to them as they may be password protected.
- Banking issues that they may not be able to deal with due to data protection. This may only be short term but could happen when they need the funds the most.
- Documents in the cloud may not be available to them.
In the worst case scenario, they will never get access. In the best, it could be a long and costly legal battle to gain control. The best way to deal with this will be to employ an attorney – preferably before the owner dies – and plan ahead.
What to do to protect your assets
The first thing is to collate all the information your loved ones could need, such as accounts held, passwords, the location of documents, etc. This can be held in a password safe as long as relatives have the details. It will also be best to ensure the attorney is trained in estate planning and give them the details of what you want to happen.
Estate planning documents should be provided and here is the place to state who you wish to take control after your death or inability to communicate. This person needs to be left the password to the password safe. Once this has been done, there should not be a problem when you die and a family member takes over your digital footprint.
To learn more about caring for your assets and information after you die, contact a company like Skeen Law Offices.