What happens to all of your digital assets when you die?

Think of your son or daughter. You know, the one that’s in your will as the executor of your estate. Once you’ve passed, they’ll probably go to your house and sit down at your computer because that’s where you told them they’ll find everything they need to know. When the computer boots up it asks for a passcode. Do they know it? Same with your smartphone, do they know your unlock code?

Or maybe they don’t live near enough to go to your house, so you’ve provided the username and password for your bank, and maybe for your password manager. They enter the info and click “Login” and their computer responds by asking for the code that was sent to your phone. How are they going to get that? You need to think about this, do your research, and plan ahead. Most accounts that use these 2 factor codes also provide a list of codes that can be used in the event that the phone is unavailable.

Does your “digital executor” have everything they need?

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to estate management in general. You’ve probably been to a lawyer to draft your wills and trusts, but did you think of all the digital assets that are important? And, will the executor listed in your will have the tech-savvy necessary when it comes to digital assets? Check out Episode 238 of our “What Does This Button Do?” show where our guest, Judy Taylour, took us all thru it. She covered “What are digital assets?” “How to avoid identity theft after you die.” “How to close social media accounts.” and much more. Here is Judy’s Checklist: where to find stuff when I’m no longer here

Google’s Inactive account manager

If you have a Google account, you may want to go into the settings and designate an “Inactive Account manager.” You can specify when to consider your account inactive, who to notify, and whether or not to delete your account. Here’s a video on how to do that:

Maybe you don’t want your Google account to go inactive

If you watched the video carefully, you may have noticed that the “Inactive account manager” doesn’t have much power. They can download the content that you allowed, but that’s it. They can’t read your incoming email, they can’t go into your Google Photos and share an album, and they can’t see if you’ve made any money from your YouTube channel. If you need any of that done, they need your username, password and access to whatever device used for the 2-factor authentication – the confirmation code required after providing the password. When they sign in, it will be as you. Then, your account is not inactive! If you have income from your YouTube channel, and you want it to continue, you will instruct your heirs to sign in to your account at least once a year to keep the account active. In essence, it becomes their account and they can change the settings regarding where the money goes.