Digital Legacy: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is digital legacy?
Digital legacy refers to the digital footprint and online presence that an individual leaves behind after their death. It includes all the digital assets, accounts, and information that was created or owned by the person during their lifetime.
Why is digital legacy important to consider?
Digital legacy is important because it allows individuals to have control over their online presence even after they pass away. It also helps in preserving memories, personal history, and valuable information for future generations.
What are some examples of digital assets?
Digital assets include, but are not limited to, email accounts, social media profiles, digital photos and videos, blogs, websites, online banking and financial information, online subscriptions, intellectual property, and any other online accounts or digital content created or owned by the person.
How can I plan and manage my digital legacy?
To plan and manage your digital legacy, you can take the following steps:
1. Make an inventory of your digital assets and accounts.
2. Decide who will have access to your digital assets after your death and provide necessary instructions.
3. Consider using a digital legacy planning service or online platform to store important information and instructions.
4. Think about privacy concerns and decide what should be deleted or preserved.
5. Regularly review and update your digital legacy plan as needed.
Can I include my digital assets in my will?
Yes, you can include your digital assets in your will. It is recommended to consult with an attorney who specializes in digital estate planning to ensure your digital assets are properly addressed in your will. Additionally, consider using a separate document or an online service to keep track of specific instructions for accessing and managing your digital assets.
What happens to my digital assets if I don’t plan ahead?
If you don’t plan ahead, your digital assets may be subject to the terms of service of the individual online platforms or the laws of your jurisdiction. Some platforms may close or delete accounts after a period of inactivity, while others may require a legal process for access by your heirs. Planning ahead can help ensure that your wishes are respected and your content is preserved or transferred to your loved ones.
Can I delete someone’s digital presence after they pass away?
Deleting someone’s digital presence after they pass away may not be as straightforward as it seems. Legally, access to someone’s accounts or deleting their presence without proper authorization is generally prohibited. It is advisable to consult with the terms of service of the specific platforms and seek legal advice if necessary.
Are there digital legacy services available?
Yes, there are several digital legacy planning and management services available. These services help individuals store and manage their digital assets, provide secure access to designated individuals after death, and offer tools for preserving or deleting online presence. Some popular digital legacy services include Everplans, Planned Departure, and SecureSafe.
What are some privacy concerns regarding digital legacy?
Some privacy concerns regarding digital legacy include the potential access to sensitive personal information or financial accounts by unauthorized individuals. It is important to take steps to protect your digital legacy, such as using strong and unique passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and keeping sensitive information secure. Additionally, consider whether or not you want certain online accounts or content to be preserved or deleted after your death.
Where can I find more information about digital legacy?
You can find more information about digital legacy on reputable websites such as www.aarp.org, www.digitallegacyassociation.org, and www.nolo.com.