What everybody ought to know about online legacy
A great portion of your life is digitally documented.
This begs the question of what happens to your online life once your ‘real’ life is over?
Unfortunately, the answers to this question are complicated.
Delve into the issue of what happens to your digital assets when you die. What you’ll get is a whole bunch of new questions.
For some, digital assets such as emails, Facebook pages and profiles and Twitter accounts are as much memories of how we lived as, say, a written diary or letters.
And yet. Unlike real objects like letters, it is not easy to protect your online heritage.
Social Networks and Legacy
Recently, Facebook made provision for the nomination of a legacy representative to administer your account after you die.
Access to the mountains of data each of us accumulates in a lifetime of use can be a source of comfort and memories for other people.
So this is a step in the right direction for Facebook. No doubt other sites will follow.
What About Creators?
The issues surrounding the emotionally fraught realm of the ownership of digital assets is made even more tricky for artists and creators.
If digital assets are valuable, the question of who owns them takes an economic flavour.
That flavour could be bitter or sweet, depending on the thought and planning involved.
Have you thought about who should have access to income made by your Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts?
When legacy planning, you should consider your online data in the mix of what you’d like to give beneficiaries.
It’s also a good idea to keep copies of anything you produce online on your computer (and make sure the password is available to your executor). This way, it can be collected and distributed without fuss when it’s time to administer your estate.