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Make plans for your digital assets after you die

In the past, people didn't think much about what would happen to their computers or phones when they passed away. These days, so much of life is wrapped up in the digital world that making plans for digital assets after your death is important.

Digital assets include everything from online investment accounts to social media profiles. Even things that you've downloaded, such as movies, books and music, should be included in your plans for digital assets.

First, you should make sure that you have a master list of where your digital assets are held. Include links to websites and passwords. Of course, since you are including your passwords, you have to make sure that the master list is held in a secure location. This location should also be somewhere that your loved ones can access when you pass away.

Second, you might have to include specific documents in your estate plan that will give your chosen people access to online accounts. This is something that is handled on a case-by-case basis, so you should find out exactly what your loved ones might need to deal with your digital assets.

Third, make sure that you clearly denote what files on your computer or hard drive are important for your estate plan. This is something that can be difficult to do; however, you need to try to make it as clear as you can so that your loved ones can access the files after you are gone. It is a good idea to have a backup copy somewhere in case the original is deleted.

Source: Mercer County, "Digital Assets," accessed June 30, 2017

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