While you may have made plans for your real estate and other physical assets, have you ever thought about… digital assets?
If you haven’t, Facebook’s done it for you. These days, we live our lives online. From posts that chronicle your opinions, vacations and days events to photos of friends and family, Facebook is a virtual scrapbook of your life. So what happens when you die? Do your digital assets die with you?
The facts about Digital Assets
Well, not if you can help it. Up until now, Facebook offered two options for profiles of the deceased: it could be deleted entirely or “memorialized,” which meant that the account would be frozen as-is, but friends could continue to post messages and photos on the account.
Well now, Facebook has a new option. Now, you can designate a “legacy contact,” for your account, which enables someone to manage your account after it is memorialized. Someone designated as your legacy contact will be able to change headings, post information, invite friends and accept friend invitations, change photos, and download all photos.
That said, your legacy contact wouldn’t be able to view private messages, delete past posts and photos or remove friends on your behalf.
This bold move by Facebook may be the result of an ongoing debate between estate planning attorneys and online providers. Recently, the Uniform Law Commission published the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which would grant fiduciaries the right to manage digital assets such as Facebook and other social media accounts, cloud-based storage drives other assets created and/or stored online.
Digital Assets may be Invaluable
While managing them may not be as cut and dry as determining the future of your physical assets, your online information could be invaluable – so maybe it’s time to start considering your options. Have you given any thought to your digital assets?
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