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Consider Tech Solutions

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Some popular websites offer their own tools for people to designate what should happen if they die. Many other third parties provide technology solutions for digital estate plans.

In-Application Tools. Under California Law, tech companies are encouraged to created in-application tools that allow users to designate what should happen to their account and content in the case of inactivity, which we presume may be related to incapacity or death. Google currently provides an Inactivity Manager. Facebook currently offers a Legacy Contact designation.  These in-application tools will be different for each tech company, presumably specially related to that company’s theory of ownership of the account and content and definition of the service they are providing. It’s important to note that under California law, these in-application tools will take priority over estate planning documents which might memorialize a preference to the contrary.

Tech Solutions Should be Part of your Digital Asset Estate Plan.  In addition to inventories, powers of attorney, wills and trusts, technology should be part of your digital asset estate plan. Having a plan for backing up your important data, employing a death switch to delete accounts that should die with you, using a password manager, or updating the one you have, and duplicating important information for your business partner and colleagues, are examples of tech considerations that should be part of your digital asset estate plan.

Third Party Tools & Solutions. Digital death has been a developing space for many people, including third party tech companies who want to assist you and your loved ones in closing accounts, transferring account access and content, or creating online memorials. The quality and services provided by third party companies.

For more thoughts on digital legacy, check this blog post.