Estate Planning in the Digital Age
Protection When Life Is Lived Online
Most of us are living life online. We manage bank accounts, read the news, browse social media and shop for, well, just about everything.
With all those accounts come oodles of usernames, PINs and passwords. They can be tough to remember and even tougher to change!
It isn’t easy for us to keep track of our own online accounts, so imagine how difficult it would be for a loved one to access them in case of an emergency. These accounts make up your “digital estate,” and they’re a critical part of your overall estate plan.
3 Steps to Securing Your Digital Estate
In three steps, you can ensure your digital estate is protected and your loved ones know how to access your information in case of an emergency.
- Create a list of your digital assets and passwords. Using an online management program with encryption or storing them on a flash drive are good options for keeping your information secure.
- Find a safe place to store this list. Your will could become public record when filed, so don't use it to store passwords and other sensitive information. Instead, keep it in a location (such as a fireproof lock box in your home), that is accessible by your executor or a trusted loved one.
- Make a plan. Determine what you want to happen with each account and outline the details with your executor or loved one. State laws differ when it comes to handling digital estates, so an estate planning attorney may be of help in this step.
What's Your Legacy?
You can create a lasting legacy at the University of Southern Maine by including us in your future plans. Contact Erin Macey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 780-4408 to learn more.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.