Doctor Digital, what happens to all my digital stuff when I die?
Doctor Digital Says
This is an awesome and timely question, as there is no better time to plan for your digital legacy than right now. It is hard and uncomfortable for many people to think about their death, and consequently estate planning can be relegated to the procrastination basket. Add in the newish concept that our digital footprints form part of our assets and estates, and it can get complex fast. Don't worry - the Digital Ready Program is here to support as always, and we have made a Digital Legacy Factsheet to help you get your head around it all and then spring into action.
But let's talk about digital assets, as they increasingly form a large part of our lives and include social media, cloud-based financial accounts such as PayPal, cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, personal blogs and websites, email and messaging services, as well as the accumulation of online collections of photos, data, videos, art and music. You can see how that covers items that have real monetary value, as well as sentimental and operational value.
Digital legacies aren't just personal, they are also professional. Think about this from the lens of your business and your personal digital footprints - how do you future-proof the management of these assets in a way that you could ensure continuity of your business, and that your online legacy is appropriately managed. You can approach this task from a business perspective in the same way you would approach disaster recovery planning.
The best place to begin is by understanding what assets you already own and create a spreadsheet to track them including information about the accounts, what you want done with the content (archive, distribute, download, delete), who will be responsible, and how they will access them.
The next step is to advise others of your wishes. Think about who is the right person to be managing your digital assets. It may well be the same person who is the executor of your will, but it may also be someone who you are comfortable are capable and competent to manage these digital assets for you.
Make sure once your digital executor has agreed to a course of action that you advise them where you will store up-to-date passwords and access to the content and accounts they will be managing. It can't be emphasised strongly enough the importance of managing your digital legacy systematically and proactively so you can get on with the pleasure of living knowing you are organised and ready for anything.
Ready to take control of the future of your digital legacy? Carpe digital, and if you want any assistance you can book a session with one of our friendly Digital Coaches to help you - all Tasmanian businesses with an ABN are eligible to 4 hours of free coaching every calendar year. Click here to book.