It is a brave new world of digital assets. Instead of trekking to a rental store for physical media, now we merely boot up our computer, turn on our television, or flick on our phone to access digital assets in libraries with more content than our local rental store could ever hold.
Our photos fill digital albums, and so does our music and our correspondence.
When someone passes away now, we can’t sort through their memories (the music and movies that spoke to them, the photos they kept, the letters they wrote) without access.
Getting access and keeping access depends on where the assets are stored.
Facebook: Facebook allows users to add a legacy contact to their account. This person will be able to pin photos and change your picture after you pass away, but they won’t be able to post as you. A relative can also remove the account after you pass if you don’t want it online anymore.
iTunes and Amazon digital assets: Your iTunes music/videos and Kindle books are nontransferrable assets since they are only licensed. That means that when you pass away, nobody else gets to use them. If you want your loved ones to have access to these assets, you should write your passwords in a password manager or a secure location and give the information to your executor.
Google (Gmail, photos, etc.): Google has a tool called the “inactive account manager” which allows you to pass everything Google to someone if your account becomes inactive for a preset period. I use three months. It also allows you to send a final text message to the executor regarding the account.
If you have questions about setting any of this up, or other estate planning issues, contact Gotto Law today.