Weekend Reading: What Happens to Your Digital Assets When You Die?

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

Think about all the valuable items you keep on your cell phone or computer. These might include photos, word doc files, or even cryptocurrency. Maybe you have a backup of these items on an external hard drive or in the cloud, but what happens if you’re no longer around to access those files? This article from Kiplinger breaks it down.


Allocating your cyber assets: The modern world continues to go more digital with each passing year, which means the guidelines within your estate plan should follow suit. Everything from your Facebook profile to funds held in your PayPal account is worth considering and mentioning in your will. This article lists several reasons why:

📍Some social media platforms will mark a deceased user’s profile as “memorialized,” prompting identity thieves to scan your online accounts for information if you don’t have a designated person to close your account

📍Files stored in a cloud can be lost if you don’t create a plan to properly transfer them

📍Movie, music library, and email accounts are just some of many different services you do not directly own. Creating directions to cancel these services and understanding your user agreement rights are key

📍Any “locked” files you have stored digitally will be inaccessible if you don’t pass on the needed passwords

📍Not providing access and directions to your successor regarding important business accounts, such as PayPal or QuickBooks, can cause delayed or denied entry

Consider this: You may have a rock-solid financial plan, but if your family isn’t aware of how to access all the digital elements of that plan, how rock solid is it really?