Digital Legacy: While it may be a difficult conversation to have, you know that you will die someday. Previously, death was a simple finality. People were born, lived however many years were destined for them, and then passed away. The most they’d leave behind is their possessions and maybe a will to allocate these possessions to their loved ones. However, in this digital era, death or incapacity is a whole other matter. You live a large part of your life in the digital realm, and leave behind a full-fledged internet presence. After you pass away, what happens to that presence? This is where digital legacy comes in.
Your digital legacy basically refers to what online information and accounts you leave behind when you’re gone. Whether it’s your Cox cable billing account or your Facebook profile, you don’t want your information to be misused or in limbo. Therefore, you should make a plan and map out your digital legacy. It’s never too early to arrange this, so here are a few ways to get started.
Social Media Accounts & Passwords
First of all, you need to decide what happens to your social media accounts. Most social media platforms have legacy settings, which allow you to decide who’ll have access to them if you die. They’ll have limited control over your profile, and if you wish, the platforms will delete your information when notified of your death.
Make sure you choose someone reliable to control your social media accounts and passwords. If you want, they can turn your profile into a tribute and memorial page. Just make sure you enable your legacy settings on these platforms.
Messages for Your Loved Ones
There are several services out there that you can use to store your messages for your loved ones. Once these services are aware of your death or incapacitation, they will release these messages to the relevant people.
In most cases, these services check up on you periodically to see if you’re alive. If you don’t respond for a set amount of time, they will confirm with the guardians you appoint for this purpose. Then, these services release your messages. Whether you want to send out these messages for solace or to dictate some sort of financial or practical wishes, these services will deliver.
Choose Who Can Access What
In this internet era, your will and legacy instructions do not just extend to your physical and financial assets anymore. Your data and online presence are even more pervasive than these assets, and can easily be misused if left unattended.
Therefore, you need to choose who can access which accounts and allocate responsibilities accordingly. Give clear written instructions for these responsibilities. For example, if you want your social profiles memorialized, instruct the relevant people to do so. If you want to give these accesses to different people, then state that clearly. You may want to involve a lawyer to implement your legacy the way you want.
Create a Memorial Website
If you want to live on for your loved ones online, then you can create a memorial website. There are numerous companies out there that let you do this. Once they know you’ve passed away, they make these tribute websites live.
You can use your memorial website to write a message for your loved ones, let them post tributes to you, or look at pictures and videos. If you want, you can make all the creative decisions beforehand, or give editorial access to selected friends or family members.
Save Your Photos & Memories in a Dedicated Account
A simple way to save your photos and memories for your loved ones is to store them in a dedicated account. This can be saved in cloud storage using your Google drive or other repositories. Post your writings, images, videos, and inheritance instructions in this account, and make sure the relevant loved ones know how to access this account once you pass away.
This is also a great way to create a digital legacy for your children. You can save photos and write letters to them as they grow up and store them in a dedicated account. Once they grow up, you can give this account to them.
In conclusion, a digital legacy can be quite useful for emotional and practical reasons. Therefore, you should make the effort of working on it for your loved ones.