Happy Wednesday!!! This week we're going to talk about your electronic legacy. Sure you have prepared your physical estate for the future, but have you thought about your online accounts? Online data, such as pictures and other files have sentimental value that you never want to loose. More importantly, think of how many accounts you have out there that save credit card information! It's important to make a clean break from the online world!
I know that I've previously talked about planning for your digital assets, but now, big time companies like Google are leading the way and making planning for your digital assets a bit easier. Google has a new feature, the Inactive Account Manager. Users set a time period of inactivity, such as three months, and if Google detects that your account has not been active during that three month period, they will close the account and turn over your information to a pre-selected beneficiary. Now, users can be certain that all of their pertinent information can be passed to their loved ones. Alternatively, if you don't want to share your account information with a loved one, Google provides you with the alternative of deleting the data at the end of the inactivity period. The best part, Google will alert you via text and email before shutting off your account in case you need to increase the amount of time you selected for the inactivity period.
What about your online accounts not associated with Google? There are online companies that offer electronic safe deposit boxes where you can store your usernames and passwords, as well as some data and designate a beneficiary to receive the information. Depending on the amount of space needed, some of these services are free.
Another option, which I always suggest, is to keep a physical list of all your usernames and passwords. Make sure to tell someone where this is list is located and don’t put it in your will since wills become part of public record after they are probated. Think about it, if you have to sit at your computer and try 5 different username/password combinations to remember your accounts how one earth is your spouse going to know?!
Whether you decide on an electronic safe deposit box or a physical safe deposit box, remember to update your list every time a password changes or a new account is created.
In this digital age, many of our most precious memories exist only on the internet, it is important to save that legacy for your family. Until next time.
Wishing you and your family a safe journey, Amy