Nowadays, so much of life is lived online, whether it’s posting an update on social media, checking a bank account, or logging daily workouts. You and your loved ones have likely accumulated a large amount of digital assets over the years, and it’s natural to wonder what will happen to all these files after death. Here at Farenga Family of Funeral Homes, our experienced staff frequently answer questions about digital legacies from the families in Queens and Astoria who come to us for funeral and cremation services. If you’re wondering how to prepare, here are some tips to help you manage your online accounts and materials when the time comes.
Plan ahead when it comes to accessing your digital accounts.
Nearly every online account is secured with a password, so ensure your important passwords are safe and accessible should loved ones need to access them after your death. A great way to do this is to use a password manager like Norton or 1Password to keep all your passwords in a single safe location. Share this website and account information with your partner or close family members or let them know where it is kept should they need access to it.
Designate a list of legacy contacts.
Nearly every major email and social media provider gives users the ability to designate legacy contacts if an account goes inactive for a certain amount of time. Google even lets you choose the duration of this timeout period (anywhere from 3 to 18 months). Other platforms like Twitter, for example, encourage family members to contact their staff and request account deactivation upon a user’s death.
Put digital control down in writing.
Once you have all your online accounts and passwords in order, ensure your wishes will be followed by putting them in writing. If you’ve already drawn up a will, add a note about the control of your digital assets to your estate planning documents. Designate a trustee, a close family member, or a trusted friend to manage your “digital afterlife” and ensure all the information they need to access your online accounts can be readily available when it’s needed.
On top of preparing for your digital legacy, preplanning your funeral is a great way to give you and your loved ones peace of mind about the future. Contact our team to learn more or to begin the planning process with an in-person appointment at our funeral home.