This post is the third in a four-part series about Digital Assets and estate planning. Read part 1, “What are Digital Assets?” and part 2, “Do your Digital Assets have Value?”.
As previously discussed, Digital Assets, such as your photographs, social media accounts, and content on your smart phone or computer, are very much a part of our everyday lives and can have value. As such, it is suggested that clients maintain a list of these assets; the list discussed in part 1, while not exhaustive, is a good starting point.
In the book, Your Digital Afterlife, by Evan Carroll and John Romano, the authors provide a format for a taking a simple inventory of your digital assets. The book suggests using a spreadsheet, which can be downloaded from their webpage: www.yourdigitalafterlife.com/resources.
Where to Keep Information about your Digital Assets, including Your Passwords
You may keep your digital asset information in paper form and maintained in a safe environment such as your safe deposit box, but given how often we change our passwords, this may not be the most practical. And keeping your passwords listed in a sticky note on your monitor is not very secure. If you have a safe or fireproof box, you may be able to keep the manually maintained information relatively safe, but it is not very safe from theft. As such, there are many services and programs or apps that will maintain your passwords safely and securely. These are called a password vault. If you use one of those services, be sure that someone other than you knows the password for that program or knows where to find that password. You need to maintain the information on the site, so when you forget a password and need to change it, you need to update your password vault as well.
The following is a list of some of the password vaults available to you:
What Kind of Services are Available to Help You with your Digital Asset Management?
There are many web-based services available to help you with your computer security and access to your digital assets.
Digital estate planning services:
Posthumous E-mail Services