Why You Need a 'Digital Executor'
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A last will and testament ensures your belongings are bequeathed to your family and your last earthly wishes are fulfilled after your death. But getting your affairs in order in the social media age is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Instead of just our physical property and finances, we also have to plan for what happens to our digital estates after we die—and find a digital executor to follow through on those plans.
The concept of a “digital estate” is relatively new, but almost everyone has one nowadays. Your digital estate includes (but is not limited to):
Cryptocurrencies and nfts.
While you can include instructions on how your family should handle your digital estate data in your will, its more complicated than you think. Some states require you to name a digital executor to handle those materials after you die. That person is also responsible for notifying your online friends and followers of your death and making sure any accounts, subscriptions, or other services are canceled or transferred to your next of kin.
Like a will executor, your digital executor should be named in your will. Anyone can be your digital executora friend, family member, or third-party representative. You can name one person to act as both your will executor and your digital executor, though some states require separate executors. In some cases, an attorney may be the best option to make sure your wishes are fulfilled, especially if your digital estate is large or worth a lot of money, since it can take several years to work through your various files, accounts, and other data.
Of course, in order to do that, you need to give your digital executor access to your digital estate. That means you need to grant them access to all your accounts, passwords, and other login informationbut that doesnt mean they will know your tiktok login before you die. Instead, you should create a document that lists all your various logins and all of the digital assets, which the digital executor will be granted access to upon your passing. In your will, you also get to define how much of your data theyll be able to access, and how much control theyll have over it.
Theres a lot to consider, heremore than we can easily get into in a simple overview. As with your physical belongings, its best to consult with an attorney on your own digital estate will be handled in your will. Websites and services like freewill. Com, quicken will maker, and law depot can help you write your will online. You can also check out our guides on writing your own will and estate planning for more information.