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Estate Planning For Your Digital Existence

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: January 30, 2014

There’s a theme going around that proposes that everyone should have someone assigned to the task of erasing their browser history after they die. These days, that is not far from the truth.

Estate planning should extend well past cars and homes. Most everyone has a personal computer, blog, website, or device that has personal or even sensitive information on it. Take care of these digital assets by including the following steps in your estate plans.

  • Keep passwords and usernames for your accounts in one spot for access by your agent. Cloud-based storage services like Dropbox can be useful for keeping this information secure but accessible.
  • Identify your digital assets. Downloaded collections of books, music, or games, may have amassed during one lifetime and be valuable to a beneficiary. Decide what you want done with your collections.
  • Decide what you want done with your accounts. Do you want them shut down? Preserved? Handed over to a beneficiary? Your Facebook or Twitter page may not be valuable to someone else, but to the generation whose first words and steps are memorialized in postings, they may be the only link they have left to their childhood once you are gone.
  • Back up everything. The only way you can ensure assets are not lost forever is to back them up. It’s especially important to make sure they are backed up on a device owned by you.
  • Put it in writing. Whatever you want, work with an estate-planning attorney to work through your plans and get them in writing. A thorough estate plan will account for everything so there is nothing left to guesswork.

Over the past 27 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped more than 800 clients prepare and utilize simple and effective planning techniques to protect them and their families in order to avoid probate, save estate taxes, save money and save added emotional burden that comes from long term illness and/or death of a family member. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.

Christopher Benson

About the Author Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More