Even if you are not someone who is on your phone (or tablet or laptop) all the time, chances are good that you spend a significant fraction of your time engaging with electronic means of communication. You probably also use your devices to store information and photos.
Have you ever stopped to think about what will happen to your devices, online accounts and digital assets when you die?
Most people do give some thought to what will happen to their physical assets when they pass away. Yet, far too few give the same consideration to their digital assets. From photos to old emails and texts, intellectual property stored on the Cloud to online bank accounts, your loved ones will be left wading through a digital mess after you’re gone unless you leave clear instructions behind.
Where should you start with your digital estate?
If the thought of leaving your entire electronic and digital footprint to the mercy of any loved one or colleague who may have cause to try and access your information in the wake of your death makes you feel a little panicked, it is time to start thinking about digital estate planning.
This area of the law is rapidly evolving because it didn’t exist until just a few years ago. Therefore, it isn’t a good idea to construct a digital estate plan on your own. Working with an experienced legal professional to structure access to your information, detail what your digital assets are and entrust the management of your digital assets to specific individuals in the wake of your death is likely to be a more efficient and effective approach that will be less likely to be contested when you’re gone.