Estate Planning for Your Digital Estate

computerAccording to a recent Pew Research Study, about 75 percent of all Americans conduct online activities.  For adults between the ages of 18 and 44, that number is even higher; more than 80 percent of those adults are online.

We use the internet for e-mail, shopping, banking, and social networking.  We upload our precious family photographs to websites like Shutterfly and other photo sharing sites.  We run virtual businesses. And to conduct our online activities, we create password-protected accounts.

But if you are like most people, you probably don’t keep a record of all your accounts, and most of your passwords are stored in your head.  For those of you who do keep records of all your online accounts and passwords, the vast majority have not made their location known to loved ones who may need to access them.

So what would happen if you die?  Would your loved one or executor have the ability to access these accounts, to retrieve those photographs, or to notify your virtual acquaintances and clients of the circumstances?

As more of our lives become digital, several companies have begun offering a means of organizing your life so that important details such as passwords for protected accounts can be accessed by your loved ones if it becomes necessary. These companies include:

Have you tried any of these companies, or know anyone who has? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

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