We’ve touched very briefly in the past about the idea that when preparing your estate, don’t forget to include any online presence you may have. Many people may not consider this aspect of their lives while preparing their spouses or children for when they’re gone.

It’s pretty apparent that you should make sure your house and IRA are put into the right hands to be dealt with after your death, but did you consider your Facebook account? Your blog or website? Your iTunes account? How about your online savings account? Does your spouse or other beneficiary know how to access your online presence to make sure everything is in order after you’re gone?

There was a blog post this week at U.S. News – Money about this issue: “How to Manage Your Digital Afterlife” by Geoff Williams. He makes a few suggestions we’d like to pass on:

  • “Assign a digital executor” – While you may decide this person will be the same as the one handling the rest of your estate, you may want to choose someone else entirely. Think about who would be the best person to handle your online presence after you’re gone. Also, “Once you have decided on a digital executor, you need to provide him/her with a complete inventory of digital assets, including accounts, login IDs and password information, upon your death.”
  • “Some decisions you’ll want to make” – Specifically, Williams discusses social media sites and online resources like music, book, or photo collections. You should decide who you want your music or e-book collection to go to, and you have to consider the limitation and restrictions sites may have on this kind of inheritance.
  • “Where to keep your usernames and passwords” – Your usernames and passwords are sensitive information, especially if the online accounts in question have personal, credit card, or bank account information linked to it. While you will want to make sure information is available to your digital executor, you also need to make sure the info is safe. Williams makes some suggestions for this that we won’t go into detail about here.

In today’s world where the number of people not involved online is decreasing, it’s a good idea to take steps to protect your online presence after you are gone.


  • Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant for specific financial advice. The ideas/opinions stated are not suited for everyone, and readers should use their own judgment in applying them in their financial lives.