Passing on your digital legacy

When you die your books, CDs, DVDs, and print photographs will be sorted out and passed down to family and friends. What about your Kindle books, iTunes music and movies, and all the pictures you have posted on Instagram?

Facebook recently made it a little easier to deal with someone’s death with the Legacy Contact feature, but that’s just a drop in the bucket. Facebook is just one social network, and social networks are just one of the many ways someone can purchase and store digital content.

I wrote a blog post addressing the three primary challenges when it comes to handling digital assets when somebody dies:

Benjamin Frankly allegedly once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

It’s a sad but simple fact you will die one day. Treasured items, family heirlooms and sentimental objects will be passed on or handed down, and the remainder of your worldly possessions will likely be donated to a charity. The digital age adds some unique challenges, though.

When my grandmother died my father and his siblings converged at the home to sift through the belongings. Items were claimed and doled out. Those items included things like vinyl records, hard and soft cover books, magazines, audio cassettes, 8mm film reels, and photo albums. When I die I will leave behind similar things, but my music, books, audio recordings, movies, and pictures will all be digital.

The transition to the digital era poses three distinct problems when it comes to the estate of someone who has died.

1. Finding It

Typically when someone dies it’s a fairly simple process to go through their things. You just go from room to room and find the stuff they had and decide what to do with it. You might not be aware that digital assets even exist, though, and you might not have a clue where to look.

You might start with the obvious. First you would check the computer, mobile devices, and any hard drives or USB thumb drives that belonged to the person. Next , it would be fair to assume there might be some digital content on social networks like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or synced and stored in cloud services like iCloud or OneDrive.

Read the full article on Forbes: What Happens To Your Data When You Die? 

Scroll to Top