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What happens to my online accounts after my death?

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2020 | Estate Planning & Probate

Your estate plan may include a digital executor and instructions to carry out specific wishes for your online accounts. If they contain digital assets, such as downloadable songs or books, you may need to list them in your will or trust, along with a beneficiary.

Social media companies have specific terms on how your executor may secure or close your account upon your death. As described by ABC News, however, your digital executor may need a complete list of your usernames and passwords to access your online content.

How do I leave an online asset to my heirs?

Your digital assets extend beyond the music and images saved on your mobile devices. They may include digital currencies, customer reward points and the domain names that you registered.

Under Pennsylvania’s Act 72, your estate documents may include your preferred method for transferring your digital assets. As noted by The Express, assets may include any “electronic record” that you have a right or interest to access. If you regularly back up files to a cloud-based storage device, you may specify that your executor transfer them to a designated beneficiary.

What if my digital assets include something I want nobody to see?

The instructions you leave in your will, trust or powers of attorney may override a technology company’s terms-of-use agreement. However, you may need to provide your executor with an inventory of the content that you want deleted.

If you have an online subscription to magazines or a dating service, your executor may need to cancel them. By creating the proper estate documents, you may give your executor the authority to control or delete your digital assets without interference from your surviving family members and heirs.