Technology has changed the way we view assets, as we now have virtual assets to protect in addition to our tangible property. Our estates now include digital assets like online banking and brokerage accounts. Web-based businesses are increasing and owning property in cyberspace has become a reality. But what happens to our virtual life when our physical life is over?
In other words, what happens to everything on “the cloud” when you die?
From your personal information to Facebook accounts to iTunes collections, an incredible amount of information about your life – and your property – exists online. Until recently, there have been few solutions available to keep everything straight, let alone remembered and handled, after a person dies.
Fortunately, that is changing. The Wall Street Journal reported in a recent article titled “Google Lets Users Plan ‘Digital Afterlife’ By Naming Heirs” that Google has become one of the first and likely the largest company to offer users a proactive digital-estate planning tool - the “Inactive Account Manager.”
The important take-a-way from this welcome new development is the importance of planning in both the “real” and “virtual” world. So, what can you do to ensure the proper handling of your accounts and other bits of data snaking across the web? What plans have you made – or should you make – to transition your virtual life when you’ve transitioned to the afterlife?
For more information about how to set up a virtual asset protection plan, or to discuss your other estate planning-related questions, contact us at Peak Legal Group to schedule a complimentary estate planning consultation.
Reference: The Wall Street Journal (April 11, 2013) “Google Lets Users Plan ‘Digital Afterlife’ By Naming Heirs”