Estate Planning for Your Digital Estate
According to a recent Pew Research Study, about 75 percent of all Americans conduct online activities. For adults between the ages of 18 and 44, that number is even higher; more than 80 percent of those adults are online.
We use the internet for e-mail, shopping, banking, and social networking. We upload our precious family photographs to websites like Shutterfly and other photo sharing sites. We run virtual businesses. And to conduct our online activities, we create password-protected accounts.
But if you are like most people, you probably don’t keep a record of all your accounts, and most of your passwords are stored in your head. For those of you who do keep records of all your online accounts and passwords, the vast majority have not made their location known to loved ones who may need to access them.
So what would happen if you die? Would your loved one or executor have the ability to access these accounts, to retrieve those photographs, or to notify your virtual acquaintances and clients of the circumstances?
That’s why its extremely important to keep a record of all your digital accounts and passwords, and inform your loved ones where to find them, so that they can be accessed when needed.