If I die, delete my browser history.
It’s a popular phrase to joke about these days, but the truth behind this statement is simple and important: People are doing more and more business and personal communications online, so what do you want to happen to these things when you die? Before any friend or loved one deletes a browser history, you should name a digital executor to make sure every activity you do online is closed out, paid off and otherwise accounted for.
If you want to know why you should name a digital executor, take some of these common online activities and think about what you might want to have happen to them after you die:
Photos: Picasa, Snapfish and other sites are great for loading all your cherished photos and memories, but when you die, do you want your friends and loved ones to have access to some or all of them? Making sure the important items you have uploaded online over time are accessible, and removing those you want eliminated, are two things you can appoint your digital executor to do.
Bills: It is easy (and encouraged) to go green and pay your bills online these days. The only problem with this is that without access to these accounts, you are leaving your loved ones with the headache of sorting out delinquent accounts if companies are not aware of your passing. This is also true for those individuals that may be temporarily or terminally ill and unable to pay important bills during this time.
Social Networks: With more communications being done online, providing your digital executor with your passwords will help them get in touch with the people in your social networks that you would want to be informed about your death or other major life event.
Bank Accounts and Payments: A lot of people bill clients and manage their money online. While you may have a basic estate plan in place that addresses providing money for your loved ones, there may be money online that they won’t even be aware of — let alone be able to access. Don’t let this happen to you.
A good estate plan is a comprehensive estate plan and that means making plans for your digital presence. This does not mean sharing your passwords with everyone now; rather, it means keeping them in a safe place for when access to accounts becomes necessary. Just as with any will or trust, working with an experienced attorney can help make sure you have everything up to date and in place. If you are interested in updating your estate plan to include arrangements for your digital assets or to start from the beginning, give the Law Offices of Christopher B. Johnson a call today.
Law Offices of Christopher B. Johnson
At the Law Offices of Christopher B. Johnson, I am here to help. Let my two decades of experience in estate planning help to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of long after you are gone. If you are wondering about adding a digital executor, pick up the phone and schedule a consultation with me today. I look forward to hearing from you!