What is a digital Will? How to setup one for your digital afterlife?

A Will is a legal document that allows a person to give instructions on what to do with their possessions once they die. For simplicity, assume Digital Will is similar to the Last Will for their digital assets rather than for physical assets. Needless to say, many of our records and assets become digital, all of us supposed to have a plan to pass them on to the loved ones. I’m sure that everyone reading this must be holding plenty of digital assets over online. When I say digital assets, it includes your social media profiles like facebook, twitter and LinkedIn, your email accounts whether in Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook, your cloud storages like Google Drive, Dropbox holding your photos, videos and mementos of your life, online bank accounts, digital wallets, cryptocurrencies and much more like this. Now you must agree to that you own plenty of digital assets that you want to be inherited by your loved ones after your life. This kind of ‘afterlife’ topics is politely avoided, as we hate even the thought of it. Let’s use the word “incapacitated” if the word “death” scares you. I would argue in that way, preparing for the worst is as good as not expecting it. Don’t let yourself and your loved ones in distraught when you can’t help them with what you have/had.

Why a digital will?

Your data, digital accounts are protected by legal, privacy policies stated in terms and conditions of each service. There are some exceptional legal cases in which the families are granted the access for the data of the deceased against the privacy policy. But, all the plea’s are not interpreted in the same way. So leaving without a digital will is a bad idea. It is essential to save your loved ones from future distress. If you have a Will prepared, it will guide them to have what they are entitled when you’re not there.

Setting up a digital will

Different service has different methods to handle this. Google offers an Inactive Account Manager feature that lets you designate up to 10 trusted contacts to be notified if your account goes inactive, and give them access to your data (with your permission). Facebook lets you designate a Legacy Contact who can memorialize your page. Online banks have “nominee” column where you can spell your loved one’s name. Likewise, you need to find the proper column in every service to set it up whom can inherit your content when you’re incapacitated. Sadly, a plethora of online service lacks this feature.

An easy way to set up a digital will for passwords

You can avoid the chore of setting up an emergency contact in every service you use. Instead, use a password manager. This is a small trich better than a preparing an actual digital will. In my case, I use LastPass. It holds all of my passwords including some secure notes that is vital. All I have to do is, to set up an emergency contact to let them access my account, in case. They will have the access to my account during an emergency until I decline the access. It is also better idea to prepare a short note inside ‘Secure notes’ in LastPass instructing which folder they have to look for important sites and their passwords when in an emergency. Other password managers have similar tools. 1Password has Emergency Kit and Dashlane has similar emergency feature. Long story short, adopt a password manager. Hope this helps. Feel free to use the below comments section to fire your points and doubts.

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