Planning ahead can make it easier for your loved ones to deal with your Digital Assets after you are gone.
For instance, have you thought about what happens to your social media accounts after you pass away? Who inherits the small online business you started from scratch? Protecting your Digital Assets should be a must in your Will. Irrespective of your technology use, and proficiency, you need to safeguard your Digital Assets. Let us understand what comes under Digital Assets.
What are Digital Assets?
In simple words, your social media accounts, cloud storage, online shopping accounts, Netflix Account, Amazon account, etc., together form your Digital Assets. It also includes auditory media, spreadsheets, online bank accounts, cryptocurrency, etc. People who run online businesses depend on their Digital Assets immensely.
Why is it Important To Protect Your Digital Assets?
Digital assets have monetary as well as emotional value. When a family member passes away, their Facebook profile turns into their memorial in no time. Looking at shared memories and stories of someone after their demise can comfort their family and friends. Without proper management of your digital assets, your loved ones may find it hard to grieve healthily.
For instance, imagine what would happen if somebody does not select a Legacy contact for their Facebook profile. Their loved ones would not manage their account, and random people would still wish them on their birthday and tag them in pictures. Watching it happen to a deceased loved one account can cause emotional pain.
Thus, you need to appoint somebody to manage your Digital Assets. Likewise, an online business is a monetary Digital Asset that can bring financial value and must be handed over to your loved ones after your death.
How to Protect Your Digital Assets in Advanced?
Preparing in advance is the best way to safeguard your Digital Assets. Without prior preparation, you risk losing a lot of crucial data. Here are the steps to ensure that your Digital Assets remain safe for a long time.
1. Make an Inventory of your Digital Assets
Organising and creating a list helps you separate your Digital Assets and decide what happens to each of them. Start by making a list of all the online accounts you have owned, like social media accounts, emails, files and documents, cloud storage, cryptocurrency, and online banking.
Now, make a list of all the devices you have used to access the accounts mentioned above. If you have invested in cryptocurrency, you will have to list the device used to purchase your Cryptocurrencies. It works on the principle of Public and Private keys. Private keys are user-specific, hence the need to include the device used to buy the cryptocurrency.
2. Give Access to your Digital Assets
It’s not a great idea to include your account numbers and similar sensitive information in your Estate Plan. However, you can create an entirely separate document having this vulnerable information and include it in your Digital Estate Plan.
Wills are made public after the death of an individual, which is why it’s best to leave your passwords and sensitive information out of your Will. You can rather use a Password Manager to store the usernames and passwords of your online accounts.
3. Appoint a Digital Executor
A Digital Executor is the person who makes sure your wishes are carried out after your demise. Moreover, they ensure your privacy is protected. You can even choose a specific individual as a Digital Executor for certain online accounts.
If you are not sure about certain online accounts (online banking and such), talk to your trusted attorney and discuss ways to transfer these accounts to your beneficiaries legally. You can appoint your family member or a close friend as a Digital Executor – exclusively for your Social Media sites.
4. Make your Digital Estate Plan legal
Any documents that have passed on as a part of an Estate need to be authorized by an attorney. Similarly, your Digital Estate Plan is legally valid only when an attorney authorizes it. Talk to your trusted attorney about your Digital Estate Plan.
5. Make Use Of Digital Vault
Getting a Digital Vault is the safest option to store sensitive information like account numbers and passwords. Add the password of your Digital Vault in a separate document and include that in your digital estate plan. Make sure you select a Digital Executor and leave them instructions to manage your Digital Vault.
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