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Your Digital Afterlife: Navigating the Legacy Landscape

by Cheryl Cottrill, End of Life Doula

Have you ever thought about what will happen to your digital assets after you're gone? It's easy to overlook this aspect of estate planning, but your online presence is just as important as your physical property.

Your digital assets could include cherished family photos, important intellectual property, health information, or even your entire online business. Without a plan in place, your legacy could be lost forever or live on without someone managing them or your behalf.

Will your Facebook account live on as a memorial or be closed down immediately? How do you feel about loved ones' birthdays popping up years after they're gone? Does it make you sad or bring up happy memories? Have you designated a Legacy Contact on your Facebook page to manage your profile posthumously?

Have you documented all your log-in information and passwords for your Executor? Do they know where to find these crucial details? Have you given clear instructions on what to do with each account?

If you're using password management software, does your Executor know how to access it? What about your website and domain registration – is your executor in the loop on the login and password details?

Here's the solution: craft a comprehensive Legacy Plan that includes all your assets, log-in information, and specific instructions for each account. Angela Crocker and Vicki McLeod have written an excellent resource book on the Digital Legacy Plan, complete with downloadable worksheets (ISBN 978-1-77040-310-9).

It's a lifeline if you're unsure where to start. Or you can simply document all this information in a Word or Excel document and make sure your executor knows where to find it.

Remember, your digital assets deserve the same careful consideration as your physical ones. Your executor should know what they are, how to access them, and how to handle them – whether it's preserving them as a memorial or closing them down.

In the grand scheme of your end-of-life plan, a Legacy Plan is another vital piece. It ensures your wishes are carried out, leaving behind a legacy that truly reflects your values and desires. Get started today to make a lasting impact tomorrow!

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