Protecting Your Digital Affairs
A lot of our personal and business lives are now spent online. We pay our bills, shop, watch movies, bank, manage our investments, date, engage in social media, and so much more online. Our digital lives need to be managed and planned for in the event of our disability or death. This should be done within our estate plan as well as outside of it.
Provide access to your login information to the personal representative of your estate or someone else that you trust. Make sure they either know your login information or how to find it. There are different approaches you can take:
- Maintain a physical current list of login information for your various sites. Inform your future agent where your list is kept. This is a simple approach, can't be hacked, but isn't very secure.
- Use an online service to store all of your passwords and usernames. Provide access to your agent to the online service you have selected.
Some online companies provide access to others in the event of incapacity or death. See if the various online companies you interact with provide this access and if possible name someone to have this access if and when necessary.
Don't only save things of great importance to you online. Save important documents, papers, videos or photographs to your computer and to a USB drive as well. USB drives are good to share with others who are appropriate as well. Additionally, you can print and save important papers and documents.
Our online lives have grown tremendously over the last several years. Following these steps will help you and your family maintain control of your digital affairs both while you are alive and after your death.
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