Digital Estate Planning: 5 Methods To Handle Digital Life

The most uncertain but certain thing in everyone life is death. And with technology becoming an increasing part of everyone’s lives, digital assets have become more important. Think about your ‘virtual’ belongings — online accounts and memberships, files, photos and videos stored on your computer or on an online storage site, etc.

Improper planning of digital assets can lead to complete loss of assets for your legal heirs. Fortunately there are a number of services that allow you to update or transfer the account information after you. Here are 5 services that can help you in managing the digital life after death.

Entrustet helps you protect digital assets so after you pass away, they are managed, shared or deleted according to your wishes. Entrustet offers a range of services, starting with Account Guardian, a FREE, easy-to-use resource that helps you identify and record your assets. It also enables an account holder to pass on digital assets to up to 10 designated heirs and one executor, who is in charge or executing a person’s digital wishes, after they pass away.

2. AssetLock

AssetLock is a service that focuses on mass storage of information that may be important and crucial for your family member or others after your death. You can add information to your account and specify the persons who can have access to that information after you pass away. AssetLock provides a simple template to assist you in gathering details such as on estate, finances, insurance, final wishes, final letters and email, secret info like passwords, hidden accounts, lock combinations and many more.

AssetLock.net, earlier known as YouDeparted.com, offers a life time membership for one time low signup fee. Pricing plans range from $9.95 per year to $239.95 for lifetime membership, depending on the amount of entries and storage space you require.

3. Futuristk

Futuristk is a social network with an online messaging service that helps everyone to schedule messages in advance for up to 50 years. It can also schedule messages to be sent to recipients after a death using post-mortem feature. To use this feature, the sender must select trusted sources to notify Futuristk of their passing. Since its a unlimited messaging service, Futuristk is ideal for those people who might want to send many personalized messages to their family members and friends after their death.

4. My Webwill

My Webwill ensures that a trusted person can change or transfer someone’s online accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, and more, after a death. Choose the desired settings for each account and choose two “trusted verifiers” to confirm the death, and upon notification of that person’s passing, My Webwill performs the deceased person’s wishes.

5. DeathSwitch

Deathswitch periodically prompts the account holder to provide a pre-determined password to ensure they’re still alive. What happens if you don’t enter password on repeatedly? Deathswitch will assume that you are either dead or critically injured and begins sending out personalized pre-written messages to contacts chosen by you.

Some of the more common uses of this site include sending passwords, financial information, final wishes, last words, love notes, and funeral instructions. With a free subscription, you can create one message to be emailed to one recipient. Or for $19.95 per year, you can prepare up to 30 messages with file attachments for up to 10 recipients per message.

If you’ve heard of other services that also handle these services, add your thoughts in the comments below.

You may also like to read about Understanding Digital Estate Planning

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