A little forethought and pre-planning with regard to your 'digital' property and online presence will make things much easier for family or friends in the event of your death, and enable you to control what remains private.
How many times do you log on to an online account each day? It may be email, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, a photo-sharing account, eBay, Paypal, Zipcar, a blog, a professional body, online shopping… Your online presence is probably bigger than you think!
Now, what would happen to those accounts if you were to die? Does anyone know your passwords and usernames? Possibly not, if you’ve followed all that guidance about keeping your passwords secure. Are there private photos that you’d prefer other people not to see? Do you have personal emails that you’d like to remain personal? Would you like your digital profile to be taken down so that it isn’t upsetting to friends and family?
While the executors of your Will have the authority to deal with your real assets, they might find it more difficult to deal with your ‘digital’ property, as procedures aren’t uniform.
To help them with this task, you should ensure, at the very least, that you give either your executor or a trusted friend or family member a list of all your online details – usernames, passwords, and instructions as to what should happen with your accounts – be they photo, email, social media etc.
If necessary, all of this information could be kept in a separate sealed set of instructions with your Will. A little bit of preparation now will go a long way toward easing the burden on your executor or family.