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In this week's Newsletter:
  • Estate Planning for your Social Media
  • Five Steps for Including Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan
Estate Planning for Your Social Media

I've got another good end-of-year task for you, and I actually need to do some of this, too. If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you might have seen us make a couple of posts about planning for what happens to your social media accounts. Social media might seem like something trivial, but we all know by now its influence on the world. At the same time, personal accounts can have sensitive information, or they could be used abusively.  Would you like your Facebook to be managed by a friend or child as a tribute wall? Or, would you cringe at the thought of a family member being able to control and dig into your account? Either way, the social media platforms each have their own systems for how your profile is managed if you die. Many of these companies give you the right to control what happens. Take a look, and take a few minutes to get your preferences set in the tech titans’ systems.
In Part 1, we discussed:
Google, and YouTube
In Part 2, we discussed:
Apple Devices and Services
These above items are probably things that you can do yourself without spending a dime, but ensuring that they are consistent with your greater estate plan is good idea. If I can support you, please let me know.

Five Steps for Including Digital Assets in
Your Estate Plan

Digital assets include more than just your social media accounts. If you have a lot of digital assets, it can be pretty complicated for your personal representative to navigate your affairs if they don't have your passwords or other access information. At the same time, you want to protect your accounts now. We will be completing and posting on Facebook and Instagram a full blog on this in a couple weeks, but I'll go ahead and provide five steps you can take to get your planning on the next level regarding your digital assets:

  1. Create a detailed asset inventory with asset instructions. To do this securely, use a password manager. I use 1Password (it's great), which helps me recover my own passwords, but there's also a secret way my executor or trustee can gain access if I fall off the map.
  2. Add your digital assets to your estate plan, but don't put password or other sensitive information in the actual documents.
  3. Limit access as needed. Do you want your trustee or executor or power of attorney to be same person who reads all of your emails or social media messages?
  4. Include relevant hardware. Remember that your phones and computers have lots of information on them. Do you want these wiped clean before your beneficiary(ies) receives it, or does something special need to happen to the data on the device?
  5. Check Service Providers' Access Authorization Tools. If the Service Provider has an internal method of determining who controls your access after your death, that's better than depending on your personal representative to jump through the hoops to manage the asset. We discussed this concept as it applies to some of the major social media apps in the first two blog posts on managing digital accounts.
DISCLAIMER: All of the content of this newsletter and any other newsletter is general in nature and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Every individual’s situation is different, and assuming a one-size-fits-all solution is unwise. Legal, financial, or tax advice should only be relied upon when provided confidentially pursuant to an engagement agreement after your professional has agreed in writing to review your specific circumstances and give advice based on those circumstances. Hopefully this newsletter alerts you to issues that may affect you or people you know, leading you to know when to meet with a qualified advisor and get personal advice and service.
Until next time,
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