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  • Writer's pictureZeno Lancaster

Digital Privacy After Death: Managing Your Online Footprint

In the digital age, managing your online presence after death is a critical aspect of comprehensive estate planning. As an Estate Planning Attorney, I guide clients in North Carolina through strategies to protect digital privacy and manage their online footprint posthumously.

1. Create a Digital Inventory:

Compile a comprehensive inventory of your digital assets, including email accounts, social media profiles, online subscriptions, and financial accounts.

Include login credentials, security questions, and any relevant instructions.

2. Appoint a Digital Executor:

Designate a digital executor in your estate plan to manage your online presence after your passing.

Provide this individual with the necessary information and authority to carry out your digital wishes.

3. Understand Terms of Service Agreements:

Review the terms of service agreements for each online platform you use.

Some platforms have specific policies regarding the transfer or closure of accounts after death.

4. Specify Digital Wishes in Your Will:

Include specific instructions for the management of your digital assets in your will.

Address whether you want accounts memorialized, deleted, or transferred to specific individuals.

5. Utilize Online Platforms' Legacy Features:

Some online platforms offer legacy features that allow users to specify what happens to their accounts after death.

Familiarize yourself with and use these features where available.

6. Digital Estate Planning Tools:

Explore digital estate planning tools and services that facilitate the management of your online presence.

These tools may provide secure storage for important information and automate certain processes.

7. Address Password Management:

Consider using a secure password manager to store login credentials.

Share the master password with your digital executor or include it in your digital inventory.

8. Privacy Settings:

Regularly review and update the privacy settings on your online accounts.

Understand how these settings impact posthumous access and visibility.

9. Periodic Reviews and Updates:

Regularly review and update your digital estate plan as your online presence evolves.

Ensure that your digital executor has the most current information.

10. Communicate with Loved Ones:

Communicate your digital wishes with trusted loved ones.

Inform them about the existence of your digital estate plan and provide guidance on how to access it.

11. Legal Considerations:

Work with an Estate Planning Attorney to ensure that your digital estate plan aligns with North Carolina laws.

Stay informed about any legal developments related to digital assets and privacy.

By proactively managing your digital presence, you not only protect your online legacy but also provide clarity and guidance for loved ones tasked with handling your digital affairs after your passing. Incorporating digital estate planning into your overall estate plan contributes to a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to legacy planning.


No Attorney-Client Relationship Created by Use of this Website: 

Neither your receipt of information from this website nor your use of this website to contact The Lancaster Law Firm or one of its attorneys creates an attorney-client relationship between you and The Lancaster Law Firm. As a matter of policy, The Lancaster Law Firm does not accept a new client without first investigating possible conflicts of interests and obtaining/sending a signed engagement letter or email correspondence. Accordingly, you should not use this website to provide confidential information about a legal matter of yours to Lancaster Law Firm. 

No Legal Advice Intended: 

This website includes information about current, past, and future potential legal issues and legal developments for educational purposes only. Such information is provided for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most recent legal developments. Posted information is not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice for a particular set of circumstances you may be experiencing. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. 

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