Digital Estate Planning
We hear more stories about the surviving spouse or family member being told to get a court order in order to access the deceased or incapacitated person’s Apple/Facebook/Yahoo account. How can you plan ahead and spare your family the expense, time, and pain involved in accessing your digital property?
1. Inventory your assets
Compile a list of hardware, software, online (including social media), personal, and business accounts. At Grimaldi and Yeung, we have created a good Digital Estate Worksheet that you can find here. Keep this list in a secure location and advise you fiduciaries of the location of this list.
2. Appoint your digital fiduciary
Update your Power of Attorney, Last Will and Testament, and other estate planning documents to include who will manage your digital affairs should something happen to you.
3. Enable your fiduciary to access your accounts
In addition to advising your fiduciary of your cloud password, create a back-up of your accounts on your local computer. If possible, store all of your passwords in one, secure location and advise your fiduciaries of where those passwords are located. If and where possible, consider placing your digital assets in a revocable trust.
4. Prepare an Action plan for disposition of your digital asset
Do you want your websites or postings deleted? Do you want your websites or postings deleted? Do you want certain people notified of your death or incapacity?Do you want specific postings / photos regarding your condition? Make your preferences known and clear.