Over the last few decades, the world has seen significant changes, digitalization being one of the biggest. Digitalization has touched every sector of society, no matter how small. This begs our attention to the question- Should you start Organizing Your Digital Estate?
How to Organize Your Digital Assets Practically ?
If you have made the vital decision of planning for your digital estate but keep thinking about how to organize estate documents, this article will walk you through the basics of digital estate planning. The type of estate you own is different from others, which makes your estate plan different from others. But, there are some commonalities everyone must follow when estate planning.You can use various solutions available on the internet when you plan for your estate, including your digital assets. Creating a digital vault, for instance, will safeguard all your files or other personal data, such as pictures, stories, etc., that you might want to store safely to preserve your legacy. In the same way, creating a will that outlines your wishes regarding your assets will ensure that your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries without any hassle or lengthy court processes.
What Is A Digital Estate?
The impact of digitalization on our society has been tremendous, and it continues to prosper. We all use some form of digital media which leaves a trail. The electronic information that is stored digitally must be safeguarded. Your digital estate includes your social media accounts, virtual currency, online pictures, emails, etc. To put it in simple terms, everything you use digitally stores some information. This information is considered your digital asset.
What Is Your Digital Estate Made Up Of?
All the information stored online or in digital format is considered a digital estate asset. Some examples of digital assets are listed below:
- Online financial accounts
- Email accounts
- Social media accounts
- Gaming accounts
- Blogs or domains
- Cloud storage
- Subscription-based accounts
Why Should I Organize A Digital Assets Plan Before Death?
If you are aware of traditional estate planning, you would recognize the need for us to start organizing paperwork for death. We must safeguard our assets and determine what would happen to them after our death. Creating a plan for your digital estate will aid your loved ones and family members from the added stress and grief from when you are not around anymore.
Creating a digital estate plan will also protect your online assets and accounts from risks such as identity fraud, hacking, etc. An estate plan can also ensure all your digital assets are passed on to your friends and family after your death. Hence, organizing your digital assets is vital, and you must start today.
What Happens To Digital Assets At Death?
Not a long time ago, possessing a laptop was a novelty. But, things have changed since then. Nowadays, we interact and use laptops or desktops in our everyday lives, which has changed how we access the internet. With the growing impact the internet has on us, the risks also increase. The continued presence of digital media has also increased the amount of personal data we share on the web. But have you ever wondered what happens to all your digital information after your death?
Most social media accounts automatically memorialize a user’s account after they die. If not, the accounts exist on the web eternally. These accounts become susceptible to fraud and hacking. Other forms of digital media, such as cryptocurrency, images, domains, etc., might all be lost unless you plan to transfer them to your beneficiaries.
Therefore, the future of your digital assets depends on one situation to the other. But, not preparing a digital estate plan will guarantee that transferring your digital assets to your loved ones would be next to impossible. Therefore, we must act fast and create a will for our digital assets to safeguard our possessions.
Creating A Digital Vault
Creating a digital vault is one of the simplest ways to safeguard all your digital possessions and ensure they are kept in one place. You can even name nominees that inherit your digital estate in a digital vault after you die. A digital vault allows you to store files or other sensitive information securely, where you can limit who has access to them.
A digital vault might also include a time capsule that preserves your legacy digitally. You can store pictures, stories, or any other aspect you want to safeguard in a digital vault. Therefore, creating a digital vault is one way to safeguard your digital estate and ensure your loved ones get your assets after you pass away.
Using A Password Manager
Everything we do on the internet requires us to make an account. We access google through our email account, use applications like Instagram and Facebook through a password or even watch Netflix with a password. After you pass away, it is almost impossible for your family and loved ones to access these without knowing your passwords.
Sometimes, you might even forget the passwords to access your accounts. To avoid issues like these, one should use a password manager. An example of including such information while estate planning would be listing all your social media accounts in your will and their passwords, ensuring they are kept in one place. In the will, you can mention what you would like to do with them after you die- transferring them to your beneficiaries or memorializing them.
Making Use Of A Digital Estate Plan
Making a will for digital assets is an essential factor you must consider throughout your life. We often do not account for our digital assets during estate planning. But, this can be risky as the internet stores a lot of our information in the form of intangible assets, which, unlike other physical assets, might not get transferred to our heirs through probate court and might be lost forever or become susceptible to fraud.
Creating a digital estate plan relieves your family and loved ones from stress after you pass away. Naming beneficiaries and specifying the distribution of your digital assets also avoids any dispute between families. Therefore, there are many advantages to creating a digital estate plan.
How Can My Family Benefit From A Digital Estate Plan After I'm Gone?
Organizing your estate, including your digital assets, relieves your family of the stress of getting your affairs in order after your death. Another aspect to consider is that creating a digital estate plan safeguards your personal information from being hacked for identity fraud. An estate plan also covers your wishes regarding your asset’s future when you are no longer around.
Therefore, you must create a digital estate planning checklist that ensures your assets are secure even when you are not around anymore. The digital asset laws after a person dies in the USA are well defined under RUFADAA laws. Therefore, by creating an estate plan, you ensure the security of your assets.
Most of us use the internet every day. We use social media accounts where we post pictures, use online banking, play games, interact through emails or even use digital currencies. Although some of us might know the importance of traditional estate planning, we all must consider our digital estate and determine what we want to do with it after our death. To safeguard all your digital assets, we at Clocr help you in organizing digital assets in the safest way possible and create specific plans that ensure your digital legacy is safe and secure.
Clocr provides you with solutions like creating a digital vault, making an emergency card, writing an online will, etc., that aim towards securing all your assets- both digital and traditional. Start organizing your digital estate with Clocr today to relieve your family members from stress in the future. Safeguard all your possessions by creating an emergency plan today.