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Planning Your Digital Estate

Deciding how to manage one's digital legacy has turned into one of the trickiest estate-planning tasks. Facebook status updates, blogs posts, tweets, digital music libraries and other digital remains may have significant financial or personal value to the families. Failure to plan ahead may prevent loved ones from recovering these digital items of personal value and information pertaining to bills or other financial liabilities. It could also leave your estate vulnerable to identity theft.
The first step to start navigating through this new world of digital estate planning it is important to recognize the obstacles one faces, such as all the legal terms of use and service of each online service provider. Providers differ in how one can handle accounts of deceased users. Yahoo for example, will terminate your account upon your death if a certificate is submitted. Google recently introduced a new feature allowing users to specify the termination of account data should the account be inactive for a certain period or passed along to specific individuals.
Some accounts that you access online do not pose an estate-planning challenge. Financial institutions do have clear procedures an account holder's death. Always check the terms of use and inquire what will happen to your account in case you pass away.

Retrieved from Kiplinger's Retirement Report

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