A guide to estate planning for online accounts

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2018 | blog

Creating an ordinary will to determine what happens with your worldly goods is important. Figuring out who gets your real estate, savings and sentimental items is a crucial part of estate planning. However, you should do some estate planning for your digital assets too.

What will happen to your emails and social media accounts after you die? How about your online bank accounts? Read our guide to online estate planning below.

Take inventory of your online accounts

You probably have more online accounts than you think. According to a report by CNET on digital estate planning, the average internet user has approximately 90 accounts. Make a list of all the profiles you have, whether they are for Facebook, online banking or a Starbucks rewards card. Take note of all the corresponding usernames and passwords (hint: oftentimes, the username is your email address). Once you have a list of your accounts, you are ready to move forward with your planning.

Determine what you want to happen to them

Once you jot down your account details and store them in a secure place, it is time to figure out your desires for them. Maybe you want someone to delete all your social media profiles after you die. Perhaps you want them to be converted into memorial pages so your loved ones can remember you and post about you on social media. Do you want someone to reap the benefits of your frequent flyer miles or Starbucks points? Specify all of this in your estate plan.

Make updates as necessary

Just as your computer and smartphone are constantly pestering you to install software updates, it is crucial to periodically review all aspects of your estate plan. Just because you write out your wishes for your digital assets does not mean you should forget about them. Every time you make a new account or there are significant changes within your family, such as a divorce or death, update your digital plan.