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Your Digital Last Will and Testament

10/08/13

Your Digital Last Will and Testament

Permalink 11:29:00 am by Eugene Gardner, Categories: Articles

If you own your home you probably have a Will written by your solicitor that instructs your executor how to dispose of your tangible assets when your number is up. But what to do with your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and other social media accounts ? Do you have e-books, photos or music storred in the cloud ? What about the forums you have participated in ? Without instructions your executors must guess at your wishes; without your passwords their hands are tied.

Consider creating an account at http://www.deadsoci.al/ where you can prepare a message to be posted after your demise. If you have a Google account (who doesn't ?) then visit their Inactive Account Manager to tell them how to trigger your wishes regarding disposal of e-mail messages, Picasa albums, Drive documents, and other assets within their empire. Similarly Facebook accounts can be memorialized but you must decide how to trigger that.

A Will is a publically accessible document that is often onerous to modify - not to mention expensive. Therefore it is not an appropriate place to store your current passwords and after-life wishes. Instead consider a Letter of Wishes which should be referenced in the Will but can be held and easily modified by you - perhaps in a cloud stored file the password to which can be disclosed to only the trusted few. This enables your execuror to know to whom access should be granted or denied for each digital asset and gives them the ability to comply with your wishes by, perhaps, including the master password that unlocks your password management software (see my blog of 8-Jan-13).

Amazon, Apple and other such organisations typically sell you a license to use content - eBooks or iTunes perhaps, so after your death your estate does not have any rights to the content. You can however bequeath the Kindle or iPhone that holds such data to whomever you choose.

Act now before

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