Google believes in the afterlife, do you?

| August 14, 2013

What happens to your digital property if you die?

Chances are if you are reading this, you have an online presence. Emails, chats, social media, and cloud storage are integrated parts of modern living. Blue Screen Robot, Scythe

Some of these are bound to be very precious. Mementos that you want to preserve for your family or that your family would want should the worst happen to you.  Some can be worth money, if they are attached to a popular person or small business. Others can even be information that you don’t want to share.

Before Roger Ebert passed away, he left instructions on how to manage his digital estate with his wife, Chaz. Not only was she able to access his accounts, but was also able to transform them into a living memory for all of his fans.

Sadly the laws regarding digital property are basically nonexistent. Only a few states have addressed this issue, and each of the major social networks have different policies that are sort of followed, depending on the case. Google has taken the lead in implementing a tool to manage your Google digital estate.

On your Google accounts setting page, you will find a setting called Inactive Account Manager. There you can set up your account to follow a set of actions that come into play if your account becomes inactive for a set period of time. You can choose to have your account information forwarded to a loved one or automatically deleted.

There are paid services that offer to manage your digital assets in the same manner as the Google Inactive Account Manager but you can save  money and do it yourself. It can be as simple as sharing a  password program such as Lastpass with a loved one, or even making a just-in-case list on paper and file it with your will.

Whatever your wishes are regarding your digital assets, the important thing is make a conscious choice and to have a plan that encompasses all your estate.

Category: General Information

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