Before you even start to make your plans and calculate all your assets and property, it would be more than useful to take some time and think about your digital legacy. In general, this term refers to all those “e-things”, like your internet accounts, social profiles, websites, blogs, YouTube channels, etc. As you already know, the majority of these items will be active after “owner’s” death, which is the reason why they can cause many unpleasant and unwanted situations. And this is something you definitely want to avoid. Because of all that, digital estate legacy planning is very important step to take care of and should be included in the priority list of all the people who are planning to make their “regular” estate plans.
On the other hand, digital items cannot be a subject of classic testament and they cannot be considered as a part of someone’s property. Nobody actually owns internet domains or social profiles simply because we are just using them for a certain period. After someone’s death, the agreement between user and company (provider), who is the real owner, stops to be active. Of course, it is not because of the physical death of the user; it is primarily because decedents cannot pay their domains or because they cannot actively be engaged with particular platforms. In most cases, the majority of them will be switched off after a while. The problem might cause those platforms that can remain active years after user’s death.
Fortunately, you can prevent those things and avoid unpleasant surprises if you leave instructions to your executor about what he or she should do with digital legacy after your death. This is the reason why this person should be someone you can trust and who will do exactly what you specified in your will.
If we are talking about social profiles such as Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter, you can tell your executor to notify all your friends about your death or to delete your account. It all depends on your wishes and desires. If you don’t do this, your profiles will be active for a long time, which can be really unpleasant both for your friends and your family.
When we are talking about e-mails, every company has strict rules about inactive accounts and they will all be deleted after a certain period. You can also instruct your executor to take care about your e-mails and to inform all your associates and friends about your death with some appropriate message.
If you do not want to disturb your friends with it, you can always hire specialized agencies or use online software to take care about your digital legacy.