What do you do with the digital footprint that a loved one has left behind when they die?
The Catholic Register’s recent article, “An executor must deal with digital footprint,” says it seems like it’d be a relatively easy issue, but folks are seeing that this is far from a simple process.
Think about what’s on your digital footprint: your Facebook account has many details of your daily life and personal history. Your email account(s) have your personal and business communications. You also probably do your banking online.
After you’re gone, do you want your heirs looking at virtual territory that you would rather keep private? How will your digital accounts be wrapped up? It's important that you name a digital executor.
In many instances, the person who is handling your estate may not be the person who has the technical aptitude to take care of your digital assets.
Remember that the executor named in your Will has to settle all issues relating to your life. Clearing out your digital footprint is one more task. Be specific with your instructions and keep a list of all the websites and login credentials, so the executor can take action as appropriate.
Speak to someone you trust about your online legacy and tell them “Just so you know, I put my passwords here, this is where I store them, and these are my accounts. Make sure you take care of those.”
Some accounts like Facebook, are easier to delete than others. It’s much easier with a death certificate. Facebook allows you to set up a memorialized account to remember the deceased. The timeline is kept, and friends and families can post comments and photos.
Reference: Catholic Register (November 6, 2017) “An executor must deal with digital footprint”