In an article published on Nov. 7, 2017 in Wealth Management, J. Scot Kirkpatrick and Steven M. Wyatt discuss how to make sure your loved ones have access to your digital assets should you end up in the proverbial “cloud.” Kirkpatrick and Wyatt share that it is important to know about online tools, “digital” executors and service agreements that may govern your assets.
They encourage using online tools to provide a quick and easy way to dispose of online assets, pointing out Google’s Interactive Manager that automatically sends an alert if your account is inactive for a set amount of time. “Failure to respond to the alert in a timely manner causes Google to notify a friend or family member – or your digital executor – to confirm your death before carrying out your instructions,” Kirkpatrick and Wyatt told the publication.
If a service provider fails to offer an online tool, the authors suggest naming a digital executor to carry out a digital estate plan at your death. However, they stress making sure the digital executioner understands how you want the assets handled, stating to, “provide explicit written instructions in your will consenting to the release of data to a fiduciary at death but be careful that you don’t go overboard and release content that you don’t want disclosed.”
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