What happens to your digital footprint when you die?

facebookThe owner(s) of the online site(s) you accepted the “terms and conditions” to before getting access dictate your digital rights on their service. Our world moved faster than the laws and after years of frustration, many of the online giants are starting to do more to address the issue of digital asset rights for their users. Google created an “Inactive Account Manager” but it is only a very broad safety net. The shortest term for inactivity is 3 months.

Given that more people face a crisis or permanent disability before they die, the only way to ensure your loved ones have access to help you is to hand over a list of your usernames and passcodes. For a free tool to better understand and document you information, you can download a copy of “Taming the Internet: Keeping Track of Online Passcodes.” 

According to Slate, Facebook is rolling out an option that lets users choose to have their account wiped out upon death. The other option is to designate a hand-selected “legacy contact.”

I’m glad Facebook has done something, however, since 7 out of 10 Americans that turn 65 will need 3 years of care before they die, we must recognize that someone needs to be able to assist us long before we leave this planet and this isn’t just an issue for older americans. At the age of 40 nearly half of Americans will face a disability lasting 90-days; are you prepared to let a loved one step in and help you when you need it?

I encourage you to set up a system to be able to share the digital keys to your estate, should someone need to act on your behalf, if even only temporarily.


Taming the Internet: Keeping Track of Online Passcodes

The average adult has more than 28 online accounts and passcodes to manage. Most of us keep this in our head, on our mobile phone, under the keyboard … which does not make it a fool-proof system for you to manage. What many of us don’t know is what would happen to our online accounts and assets if we were incapacitated as well as when we pass away. Even those with estate plans are surprised to learn of the limitations.

To get take control of your online accounts and assets, you can download a free excerpt from MemoryBanc: Your Workbook for Organizing Life, which is available from a variety of online and retail bookstores.

tamingtheinternetMemoryBanc is an award-winning system to manage your documents, accounts and assets, and you can download the chapter covering your online assets “Taming the Internet: Keeping Track of Online Passcodes”  that includes:

  • a worksheet for documenting your important usernames and passcodes
  • a worksheet for recording your online security questions and answers
  • information on why documenting this information is important for you and your loved ones

Click here to download this free chapter and get started now.