Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa la la la la, la la la la
It’s festive season and we hope you are looking forward to spending a fun and eventful Christmas with your family.
We think Christmas is the best time to tackle your Estate Plan.
Say what, now?
Yes, you heard that, right.
Holiday season is when your whole family comes together to celebrate the festivities. This is a good opportunity to talk about your Estates and discuss with your children and grandchildren about how you want them to handle your assets when you are no longer capable of doing so on your own. With the whole family under one roof, it does become easier to have a long chat and put plans into motion.
An Estate Plan for Digital Assets is known as Digital Estate Plan. Electronic devices such as eBook readers, computers, smartphones, tablets and laptops constitute a minor part of your Digital Assets while cloud storage drives, social media accounts, payment and subscription accounts and, other online accounts form a major part of your Digital Assets.
Making a list of your digital accounts and letting your close friends or family members handle it after your demise can help your loved ones protect and cherish your memories forever. Creating a Digital Estate Plan has sentimental benefits to the owner of the digital accounts as well as their loved ones.
Steps to prepare an Estate Plan for your Digital Assets this Christmas
Step 1: Make a Digital Asset Inventory
List all the digital accounts you have ever owned or created. This includes:
- Social media sites
- Subscription accounts
- Email accounts
- Online banking and payment services
- Domain names and websites
- Cloud storage drives
- Intellectual property, if any
- Retirement plans and life insurances
- Electronic devices used to access the above-mentioned accounts: Smartphones, tablets, computers, laptops, eBook readers, etc.
Step 2: Allow Access to your Digital Assets
Once you have finished listing all the Digital Assets you have ever owned, it is time to decide what must happen to these accounts when you’re gone or no longer capable of handling them due to illness or injury.
Leave instructions as to what must happen to your accounts. Do you want to memorialize your Facebook or Instagram account? Do you want your online shopping profiles to be deleted? How about emails and important documents that you have stored on the cloud? Do you want someone to download the important files? Make sure to add all these points in your Digital Estate Planning document.
Step 3: Appoint a Digital Executor
A Digital Executor is someone who will handle your Online Accounts (or Digital Assets) after you’re gone. Once you decide what must happen to each of your Digital Assets, appoint a Digital Executor to follow these instructions and manage your accounts as per your wish.
Step 4: Make your Digital Estate Plan Legal
Talk to your attorney and get your Digital Estate Plan attested. This ensures your final wishes are followed as per your wishes.
Since your Digital Estate Plan contains a list of your online accounts and other sensitive details, it is recommended to keep it in a secure location. You can consider handing over a copy of your Digital Estate Plan to your attorney or use a Digital Vault. You can also store a hardcopy (printed copy) of your Digital Estate Plan in your safety deposit box.