Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An electronic life & death

If you live a connected life then, when contemplating a will, think about:
  • naming a digital heir
  • keeping important records where they can be found
  • contacting people about your death.
If you live a life that uses a lot of email then you may have to leave your passwords where your executor can find it.
They may need to access your inbox (or contacts list) to let your friends know that you've died. If the email account is a free one then this may have to happen urgently before the account is deleted.

Keeping important records where they can be found in case of your mental decline or after you are gone.
That once meant storing papers in a safe or a file cabinet at home, in a safe-deposit box or with a trusted adviser. Even if the record keeping was spotty, there was a paper trail, starting with bills and statements that showed up in the mail.
But that trail has become harder to follow as more people manage their finances online.

Things are changing, Facebook is contemplating the problems.
The new option for posthumous care of a Facebook account highlights an important issue of what happens to your digital possessions and persona when you die.

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