We take pride in the fact that we are in the digital era. A lot of our activities are online and yet it is not often that we bother about what happens to those assets when we are gone. With activities like online banking to entertainment subscriptions to social media accounts, paypal accounts and so much more, we need to be aware that those form part of our assets. What happens to all the information we have there when we are gone?
To save family members the stress of tracking down digital accounts and canceling them, it would be a wise decision to make provisions for that in your will. Most accounts like, our online bank accounts, internet shopping accounts, and charity donation accounts have monetary value and unfortunately, there is no general standard procedure for what happens when an account user dies. Some of these assets cannot even be passed on to somebody else while others may contain money or assets that can be passed on if right procedures are followed.
Some websites and online services will simply close a dead person’s account after seeing a death certificate but others are not easy to manage especially if the family members do not know the necessary account information.
Careful planning is necessary to avoid confusions and other problems arising from digital assets left behind after the funeral arrangements are over.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- You may store your account information online in a safe digital inheritance account such as; PASSWORD BOX, and refer to it in your will.
- You can appoint a separate DIGITAL EXECUTOR just to manage your digital assets especially if they are complex or if your first named executor doesn’t have the technical knowledge.
- You may state in your will or in a document, where the account information can be found and what you would like to happen to each one.
- Do not include online details in your formal will as that will become a public document when you die. You can keep a good record of your online assets including your apps, social networks, bank accounts, blogs, E-mail accounts and so on.
- You can decide to set up a trust for your digital assets and appoint independent trustees who can administer your digital assets separately from estates covered by your will.
- You may also prepare a signed authorization form for each online company in which you disclose and grant access to your representative to check the company’s terms and conditions.
- You can decide to use an online service like; My wonderful life which can pass on your wishes to loved ones when you are gone.
You must be very careful not to breach the terms and conditions of any of the sites you have used while doing any of this to avoid problems. Most times, it is better to prepare ahead by having someone who is in charge of your digital assets or information. It is always good to make such helpful preparations on time and for our own good.