Planning your digital legacy

Who to notify

With much of our life now being hosted online in various forms, it is more important than ever to consider your digital estate, and how your family will manage the process of both closing digital accounts and retaining digital assets in equal measure. With so many accounts and online assets, this can be a significant job for those close to you.

Your digital assets will likely consist of online accounts, personal blogs or websites, photos and videos, subscriptions, music storage, and files, stored either on a hard drive or in a Cloud service.

The importance of a Digital Will

Some people want to safeguard their digital data so that what is most important to them can be protected for years to come. Content acts as a great reminder to close family members of everything associated with you, such as your greatest memories, your achievements, or what is most treasured or important to you.

We are seeing the growth of a new type of service in life planning which is that of digital executors. This person is increasingly relevant as they will likely have access to all your accounts via log ins and passwords and may also have worked with you to set up your digital wishes. They may hold all your digital memories on a memory stick or on a hard drive. However, financial planners are concerned that people often overlook their digital legacy duties, and in a recent survey, 71% of those with a will, state that they do not refer to their digital legacy within it.

In another recent survey, whilst many people do place ‘importance’ on being able to view the deceased person’s social media profile, data from the Digital Legacy Association, which helps explore attitudes and behaviours toward death, has highlighted there is still some way to go in digital assets planning:

“97% of survey respondents made no plans to protect their digital assets”.

Digital Death Survey 2020, Digital Legacy Association

When thinking about my Digital Legacy what should I be considering?

Online accounts which may form part of your digital legacy include:

  • Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X, or YouTube
  • Playlists that you may have created on music services such as Spotify or Apple Music
  • Your Cloud storage services such as DropBox, Apple iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive where important files, photos or videos may be stored
  • Apps which may store projects you have created
  • A blog or website that you own

Some social media platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, allow you to add a legacy contact. This person can manage your account after your death and can memorialise your accounts. You may wish to consider if you want your social media account to remain present after your death.

What does CPJ Field do to help those who need to set up their Digital Legacy?

We’re here to help families who use our funeral services protect and pass on their digital legacy. As funeral professionals, we firmly believe in talking openly about death and dying, and support those who wish to put in place plans before death, so that their family is better prepared for the difficult time that comes following a bereavement. We have developed a handy Funeral Wishes form which covers all aspects of thinking about your funeral wishes and funeral planning before death.

All those who arrange a funeral with us will receive a dedicated memorial page which will provide service information, obituary, and the option for attendees of the funeral to share photos and messages about the person that has died . This is also a wonderful resource, keepsake and memory which can form part of a person’s digital legacy.

For further information on how we can help with digital legacies, please contact us.

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