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Planning Your Digital Afterlife

image - SMARTSTART Planning

You won’t live forever. Have a plan for protecting your digital legacy.

As your business and online presence grows, your digital assets* portfolio expands. It isn’t just a matter of managing all your digital accounts and passwords although that is a massive job in and of itself. It also becomes a matter of protecting the legacy of all the content you’ve created and distributed through those accounts!

(To clarify, digital assets include your electronically stored accounts and information (e.g., bank accounts, social media accounts, email accounts, gaming accounts, photo and document files stored in the cloud, web domains etc.) What happens to those things when you die may depend on the user agreement.)

If you’re like most people, you haven’t given much thought to any of that yet. I’ll admit, while it has crossed my mind, other than maintaining a digital asset inventory, I haven’t been 100% pro-active in planning ahead for my digital afterlife by putting management systems in place before they are needed!

Additionally, it is important to document the existence of all of your digital assets in a legally binding will, regardless of their value. Be very clear about what you want people to do with your accounts. And of course you’ll want to choose your digital executor carefully. Who knew?

I’m in the process of correcting that critical business management oversight now after learning about Google’s new inactive account management tool. (This is the tool you would use to manage data use after your death for your Google, Google+, YouTube, Picasa and other accounts.)

The research I’ve been doing has been quite interesting so I thought I’d share some of the informative links and key applications available to help you with this important planning task for your own businesses and digital lives.

Visit these links to find out what happens to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn data and accounts after death to assess your planning options. Then you’ll want to check out this comprehensive list of tools and services for managing your digital life beyond.

(I haven’t selected the primary tool I will use but I can share that Legacy Locker is a front runner and I’m also looking at Asset Lock. To be honest, this is turning out to be a bit more of a bigger deal than first expected. Especially as our social media account library alone is in the triple digits! However, the good news is, by the time I finish with this project, I’m bound to have some sort of tracking spreadsheet template to share with our community.)