You may have created a will or trust to take care of the distribution of your financial assets and real property upon your death, but what about your digital assets?
Remember ? if you have online accounts, you probably own digital assets that will continue to exist after you die. It is important that you designate someone to take over control of these assets after you die.
We typically equate Internet activity with younger generations. However, Internet usage spans all generations. If you have an email account, your emails and any files or photos shared in your account are considered your digital assets. If you are a Facebook user, the content of your account and any photos and videos linked to your account are digital assets. Pinterest boards, online gaming accounts, Twitter feeds, online photo albums, YouTube videos ? you name it, if you have signed up for it online, you have cyber or digital assets.
There are many ways to prepare for the management of your digital assets after you die. Some providers such as Google provide services that manage your accounts after death. For instance, Google allows you to designate beneficiaries to be contacted before deactivating your accounts. Google then keeps track of your online activity. After a period of inactivity, Google will contact you via text and email before deactivating your accounts. If no response is received, Google will contact your beneficiaries.
Additionally, there are online safe deposit boxes in which you may store your usernames and passwords. Alternatively, you could keep a list of your passwords in a safe place for a loved one or executor to use after you die. While executors can contact online service providers to request the contents of your online accounts, many services providers will decline to provide usernames and passwords.
Contact an experienced Missouri estate planning attorney at the Quitmeier Law Firm to help you plan for the distribution of your assets.