Digital Legacy, it’s becoming a popular term, but what is it? When it comes to the internet and social media, you have likely heard the term “digital footprint.” A digital footprint is the trail of data that you leave behind while using the internet and technology. Your online presence and interaction create this trail or digital legacy. This legacy includes your social media, websites you frequently visit, posts you interact with, files, and pages you have accounts with.
What Happens to Digital Assets When You Die?
Have you ever had to retrieve usernames and passwords? Have you tried to log into a loved one’s computer or accounts in an emergency? Without having the correct credentials, there is generally no way to obtain access. Contacting support will not do the trick. Privacy and data ownership are an extreme concern with banks, online retailers, computer hardware providers, social media sites, and more. Hence the reason why you will want to grant access to an executor or loved ones in the event of death.
Just as estate or funeral pre-planning distributes your assets or communicates your final wishes, proper digital legacy planning enables your digital footprint to live on in the hands of your family members or other designees. Documenting your digital legacy plan is just as important as planning for your estate. This includes creating a “digital will,” recording usernames, passwords, and directions for your accounts and files.
Managing your digital legacy will be paramount for those you have entrusted. In this digital era, add digital legacy management to the list of items that loved ones would be responsible for after your death. You will want your digital legacy to live on or properly come to an end. Guidance to those in charge will instruct them to retain or close your accounts if possible.
Images, essential documents, financial statements, and memories can avoid ending up in a cyberspace black hole. Save others from the stress, time, money, and possible legal intervention associated with having to “hack” into your assets.
Need Help with Matters Related to End-of-Life Planning?
There is a lot to consider when it comes to making end-of-life plans. It’s never too early to address everything from long-term care to your online data to your memorial service.
The funeral directors at Star of David Memorial Chapels in Long Island, New York, can provide additional planning guidance. Please get in touch with us at 631-454-9600.