Estate Will Planning

Incorporating Your Digital Legacy Into Your Estate Will Planning

When creating your estate will and trust plan, it is quite pressing to bring into play your online legacy and decide whether you want it to be kept up and running or terminated in the event that you kick the bucket or become incapable of managing it.

Your presence, reputation and personality on the internet which unite to make the legacy in the be-all and end-all are such that documenting them in your will or trust is quite daunting if not next to impossibility. As much as you have unlimited access to your network accounts, details and media files, it is kinda difficult to say you owe them for the fact that the social media platforms don’t belong to you. Moresore, will and estate law makes no provision for including social media profiles in your estate will or trust.

Every social media provider has terms of service in which the grace period for an inactive account is highlighted. When it is exceeded, the account is considered null and void, thus terminated. If your accounts and information on the internet are left unmanaged and it exceeds the grace period, it is terminated.

The big storyline however, is that if you consider your deed on the internet worthy to be kept in progress, you can make a hay while the sun is still shining- that is, calling your will or trust executor in to play to instruct them on how your bequest should be managed.

Full transfer of the possession of a social media account is not allowed but account management transfer is not a big deal. Below are a few things to know when passing the management of your online legacy to your will or trust executor.

Social media account: Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc.

If you happen to be part of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and or Pinterest, thinking of what will happen to such accounts in the event that you give-up the ghosts will get you scratching your head. Well, every platforms has its terms of service and policies viz-a-viz accounts that belong to dead persons. For Facebook, the account is placed in a condition known as Memorial Status for the account to be live so as to keep the memory of the dead and pave the way for sending condolences to the bereaved. On the other hand, other platforms remove the account of deceased.

For the most part, someone has to alert a platform of a member’s death otherwise they won’t be aware for the time being. That paves the way for you to have your executor or someone you have chosen to manage your account effect some major changes on the account. What changes you want to be made depends you. You can have them delete some stuff, tweet to your friends that you have kicked the bucket or stuff like that.

Emails- Gmail, Yahoomail, Hotmail

The same thing applies as in social media. The state in which your email account is placed after your demise depends on the policies of your email service providers or the administrators of your account. In most cases, accounts of deceased persons are terminated.

If you host your apps, services, website or blog on the cloud, it is critical for you to decide what happen to them when you are gone. In order to host, your services, you pay a certain amount of money to the hosting providers which entitles to use an allocated space for a given period of time. Within that space of time, your services will be up in full swing. But as soon as that the the period expires, your services are taken down. If you don’t want that to happen when you change state or lack the capacity to manage the services, call into play you executor and transfer management to them.

Ultimately, for your executor have full access to your social network and hosting account, you have to provide them with the login details in a written form since there is no provision in the will estate law to include those details in a will or trust. You also have to leave them with directions on how the platforms work so that they will be able to manage it effectively.