Digital Death refers to how we manage our digital assets after death
Preparing a comprehensive inventory of your digital assets, with instructions on access as well as disposition of these items, is critical to ensuring your assets are properly maintained after your death. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as jotting down a few passwords so check out our inventory tools for some suggestions on getting organized. Keeping it simple is important as its needs to be updated or reviewed on a regular basis.
We are actively developing additional services so sign up for alerts to hear about new developments and to join the beta test for an online tool.
Our legal system has lagged our technological development to an alarming degree. Finding the assets is only part of the problem – many federal privacy laws prohibit access by even legal representatives without clear authorization. While legislation is pending in many jurisdictions to allow your executors and personal representatives to access your online information and accounts, it is best to affirmatively authorize (or de-authorize) access to your accounts. We have provided some suggested documentation for you to review with your attorney or advisors.
Be sure to share your plans for your digital assets (and the existence of your inventory) with your family and your advisors. If you can, try to run through a through a “pre-death audit” to understand where you may encounter problems or where you need to provide additional guidance to ensure your wishes are carried out.
The society that lives online, will mourn online. From maintaining a Facebook page to formal online memorials, we are also interested in how the digital age is transforming our mourning practices.
This section of our site will continue to grow in the coming weeks as we post a deeper review of the ongoing social research on digital mourning.
Check out our Knowledge Base page for some useful links on funeral planning and mourning research.