Entrusting your digital legacy and what it’s all about

Back in the day, no more than a decade ago, all you had to worry about for your memorial was a commemorative service, celebratory wake and what flowers or head stone to choose.

There’s a little more to it of course, including how your assets will be divided up as inheritance, but you understand where we are coming from.

Nowadays, with everything we do broadcast via an online picture book, what happens to our digital life once we’ve moved on?


Collating your cyber chest

The bricks and mortar, paper and coin assets will be the first things you talk about when preparing your will, but how much have you thought about your virtual side of the coin?

Do you have a Facebook account, Twitter profile, Google Drive image folder, eBay shop or anything else stored online or downloaded on your phone? And let’s not forget online banking.

Technology now forms part of daily life, even if you consider yourself to be a digital dinosaur technophobe. The amount of electronic data that you have will probably surprise you – just think of all the email content and newsfeed subscriptions.

Business and utility affairs aside, this online journal of visual imagery, video and text forms a big part of your personality – it’s your digital legacy. So what happens to it?

Navigating the data protection waters

Due to cyber crime and identity theft risk, it can be extremely hard for loved ones to gain access to information when you pass. Privacy laws are strict and bank accounts can be frozen within hours causing further unnecessary anxiety and grief.

  1. The first thing to do is to make a list of all your online profiles, not matter how small:
  • Financial accounts
  • Email accounts and file sharing services
  • Social media profiles – networking, photos, video
  • Online shopping accounts such as Amazon or food subscription sites
  • Travel accounts and general news feeds

Save your list in a safe place offline rather than online.

  1. Next stop is to detail how you wish the accounts to be handled.

You may want to delete everything or you may wish to leave social media sites such as Facebook ‘live’ so that family and friends can remember and share your memories.

  1. Finally, you will need to decide who will handle your online affairs when you’re gone.

Think of this a little like an executor of your will.

Discuss this with your solicitor, financial wealth planner, funeral planner or will writer and remember to keep your notes up-to-date; we all know how easy it is to download a free app!

There’s no better time than the present to start planning your digital legacy. Don’t leave all that personal data to chance; think about arranging its final disposal … now.