Prioritizing and Planning your Digital Estate
June 9, 2021
Take these easy steps to plan and protect your digital estate
Setting up your digital estate can initially seem daunting. You have hundreds if not thousands of digital assets to plan and protect and many decisions to make. Once you have a digital estate management tool in place, where do you start? Here are a few suggestions to help you get started to plan your digital estate easily.
Set Proper Expectations
Be prepared to plan your digital estate over time. With so many digital assets to plan for, realize it will take you some to get your plan fully established. You have many decisions to make. We suggest you carve out 30 minutes each time you manage your finances to address new assets.
Make sure you’ve established your will and that it contains language that permits your direction of assets to your digital executors in the digital estate management tool. You may have to execute a codicil which acts as an amendment to your will. Consult your attorney.
Once your digital estate management tool is in place, you can establish and create a significant portion of your plan by prioritizing the most critical assets first.
Protect Your Hardware
Establishing direction for your mobile phone and computers first. Even providing direction to retain hardware and devices simply to manage and settle the digital estate will be a very helpful direction to your digital executors. Security protocols such as 2 factor authentication require you to have devices such as your phone in your possession to access online accounts so make it easy on your digital executor and get your phone and laptop protected first.
Next, plan and provide direction for your email accounts. These email accounts typically serve as the gateway to managing all of your other online accounts. Note that you’ll most likely need to leave these accounts open until your digital executor has managed the transfer of access to critical online accounts to your loved ones.
Critical Online Accounts
Next, plan and provide direction for critical online accounts such as utilities, banking, financial and business accounts to maintain continuity of your household and business. Once your established these directions. The majority of critical digital assets have been planned.
Next, provide direction for shopping accounts that may be holding your credit card information.
Plan and provide direction for digital files such as photos etc. You may want to prioritize files such as business files first.
Social Media and Entertainment
Finally, address social media, entertainment and other misc. accounts.