Most of what we do these days is online. From social media to e-mail to banking, it is important not to overlook our digital assets when creating a will.
What is a digital legacy?
To put it simply, a digital legacy is a collection of the electronic data someone leaves behind when they die. In the digital age, we spend more time online and store more information digitally rather than physically. Because of this, it is becoming more common to leave behind a digital legacy for loved ones to remember you by. Some people choose to curate their digital legacy and entrust it to an executor. Others give full control over all assets to an executor. Many people do both.
What should I include in my digital legacy?
It can be easy to forget what you might need to include when working on such a sensitive document. So, we have compiled a list of some of the key components you should consider.
- Usernames and Passwords
Usernames and passwords are important for an executor to know so they can access your devices, social media, banking accounts, cloud storage, and other important online services. Social media accounts can be fully shut down or turned into memorial pages. Memorial pages let friends and families look at photos and memories and even leave messages. Create a list of all your accounts and update them whenever there is a change.
2. Photos and Videos
Photos and videos are some of the most cherished belongings we use to remember our loved ones. Giving access to these files lets your memory get passed down through generations. If you plan to curate a collection of photos and videos, remember to keep adding any new ones you feel are worth sharing. Make sure you back up your files on an external hard drive as to not lose the data.
3. Written Documents
If you are a writer, your stories are a way to keep your memory alive. If you are a baker, your recipes can be enjoyed for years to come. If you love giving advice, your wisdom can be passed down through generations. Including written documents in your digital legacy can give loved ones a great way to remember you and pass on your knowledge.
4. E-mails and Text Messages
Many people include written letters in their will. With digital correspondence being much more common and frequent, you can share so many wonderful and sentimental memories. These can be as detailed as a profound conversation between family members or as simple as a joke between friends.
5. Official documents
Including official documents such as birth certificates, medical information, and professional documents is important, as physical copies can be easily misplaced or destroyed. Entrust your executor with these documents so they can be kept safe, and include those you think are meaningful to others in your curated digital legacy.
When creating your digital legacy, you should make sure the executor you appoint is tech-savvy. Create an open and honest dialogue with your family around how you wish your digital assets to be handled, and continue to revise your files to keep the information up-to-date.
If you would like to book a consultation to create your digital legacy, please contact our office at 902-539-2425.