Planning Your Digital Legacy: What Happens To Your Online Accounts When You Die?

Planning Your Digital Legacy: What Happens To Your Online Accounts When You Die? In today’s digital age, our lives are intricately intertwined with online accounts and platforms. We store our memories, personal information, and even financial transactions in the vast expanse of the internet. But have you ever stopped to ponder what happens to all…

In our highly digitalized era, every individual has a digital presence that continues to grow each day across multiple online platforms. As such, the concept of estate planning – previously confined to tangible wealth – no longer applies solely to physical assets and resources. Enter, Digital Estate Planning, a vital part of an individual’s overall legacy planning that deals with the management and distribution of digital assets, comprising a robust gamut ranging from personal data stored on hard drives and mobile devices to user accounts on digital platforms, right up to cryptocurrencies.

Digital Estate Planning is a discipline that sits precariously at the crossroads of juridical, digital, and societal dimensions. It involves identifying, cataloguing, maintaining, and distributing digital assets in the event of the owner’s death or incapacity. This discipline gained traction with the realization that an increasingly significant part of our asset portfolio exists in intangible digital forms – such as emails, social media accounts, domain names, blog posts, e-books, Spotify playlists, and other forms of digital media content. Any data that is stored digitally, regardless of its format or location, constitutes a digital asset.

The growth in digital content creation has been exponential. According to the 2021 Domo report, over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created daily worldwide. Furthermore, a report from Oxford Economics reckons that digital goods contributed around £400 billion to the UK economy in 2019 alone – an indication of the intensity and scale at which we are creating and accumulating digital assets. Therefore, this asset class’s economic and sentimental value cannot be understated, thus accentuating the importance of Digital Estate Planning.

Even within bespoke software, app and web development spaces, there’s an increasing need to understand the necessary steps in planning the digital afterlife of creations. More often than not, developers also own valuable digital estates and often neglect to include these in a traditional will. Digital Estate Planning is the solution that ventures beyond traditional norms, offering comprehensive strategies for managing digital legacies.

As integral as technology is to our lives, it must also find a place in our estate planning. Digital Estate Planning, though a modern concept, should be treated with as much reverence as traditional estate planning. Nonetheless, despite its undeniable relevance, it is yet to receive widespread recognition and discernment it genuinely warrants. Educating every digital user about the concept, its importance, and its potential implementation forms is fundamental to secure digital legacies.

And so, the intention of our Digital Estate Planning section in the blog is to create awareness, provide updates, and dig deeper into the intricacies of Digital Estate Planning. You can also explore our blog for a broader understanding of the tech landscape. If you need any further guidance or wish to discuss bespoke digital solutions, contact us at Will Writing Services. Our experts are just a few clicks away!

See our blog categories.