Leaving this mortal coil – taking care of your digital and physical assets
To prepare for your death, I advise you to:
- Put together a box file containing all your important documents, and tell your nearest and dearest, where it is. In this box file, store your will, marriage contract, insurance policies, title deeds, papers for cars, caravans and boats, timeshare information. and other important papers;
- List your creditors (credit card, loans, mortgages, store accounts, etc.);
- List important numbers for your executors, such as the name of your broker, lawyer, doctor, dentist, financial advisor, etc.;
- Leave a list of family and friends, to contact on your death;
- List what happens to your DSTV, armed response, personal and home insurance, etc.;
- List codes for your security system, and where to find keys for your safe deposit box, post office box, etc.;
- Describe where you want to be buried or cremated, and your funeral wishes, in general;
- List all your virtual accounts, user names, and passwords (ranging from email accounts to your social networking profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., blog posts, photo or music sharing accounts, and digital purchases through for example eBay or com. Retain these passwords, with other valuables, in a safety deposit box, to be revealed to your executors, only on your death.
- Create a digital estate plan (in your will or in a letter of wishes) Instructing your executors whether to keep your social media sites current or delete them. You may, for example, want your executors to notify your friends or connections of your passing, and to keep the sites open, as a memorial. If you decide to memorialize your accounts, Twitter and Facebook will shut down your account, but your executors can set the privacy so that only confirmed family and friends can see the profile and leave posts on the profile Wall, in remembrance. You should nominate someone who is technically savvy to manage the digital side of your estate.