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What is digital estate planning, and how can it benefit you? 

There are many things to consider when planning your estate. One of the more overlooked areas in estate planning is digital estate planning.

You may have accumulated many digital assets in your lifetime. If you would like to share these assets with your family or friends, or if you would like specific things to be done to your accounts or social media after you pass, a digital estate plan can allow you to give these assets to people you care about.

Make a list of your digital assets

You may have many digital accounts. You’ll want to include the ones that are important to you in your digital estate. These may include:

  • Phones, computers or tablets
  • Money-related assets like Venmo, PayPal, bank accounts, credit cards or investments
  • Your collection of movies and music, account information for Soundcloud, YouTube
  • Blogs and websites you own
  • Other accounts on social media apps, picture-sharing apps or email

Choosing a digital executor

After reviewing how extensive your estate is, it’s important to designate someone to help distribute your digital estate. This person—known as a digital executor—should be someone who is impartial and has the technical know-how to carry out your wishes.

Writing instructions for your digital estate

Being careful with whom you leave your digital assets to will allow you to feel comforted that your estate is going to people you trust. Your digital estate can also outline what you want done with your digital assets. You might decide you want some of your accounts deleted. You might have a social media presence online, and you don’t want to leave things open-ended. You may have many financial accounts you want to leave to people you care about.

It’s possible for you to leave specific instructions for different areas like your social media so you know what will happen with your digital estate. By making a digital estate plan and choosing an executor, you can help ensure the legacy you want to leave behind will be carried out.

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