Screenshot-642x455Most people do not print photos anymore, or bank statements, or much of anything, really. If you were to pass away suddenly, would anyone in your life know how to access the digital equivalent of the dusty scrapbooks and filing cabinets of yesteryear? That morbid question begins to surface more and more in our society as people contemplate their now-paperless lifestyles.

Digital Things Are Valuable Too

Now that we do not print or write as many thoughts or images from our lives in journals and scrapbooks, we may not realize the value of our digital possessions. Something as abstract as a digital image on your Facebook account may not seem to be of great worth, but if you were to suddenly pass away, your survivors would value the content on your social media sites very highly, perhaps especially online photo storage sites like Picasa where joint memories are preserved.

Email accounts can offer wonderful chronological records of anyone’s life and family members may want to access your Yahoo, Google and other accounts. Many email services automatically terminate accounts after a few months of inactivity, and your family members may or may not be able to gain access, even with all of the required paperwork.
On the more practical side, there are checking accounts, credit card accounts and all sorts of other secure password-protected sites you use every day that your family will need to be able to access when you pass on.

What Can Be Done To Protect Them

Every password-protected site handles your data differently when you depart. Here are some things to consider in planning for your digital afterlife:

There isn’t one simple solution to handling your digital assets after death, but a little planning now might save your loved ones some time and trouble. You will not be around to see the effects of your planning or lack of planning regarding your digital possessions, but if you want to save your family additional stress after you die, it is at least worth some thought.



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