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We are unlikely to upload ourselves to a computer program which projects a hologram imitating our voice. But our digital life does live on. How do you prepare your digital life for after your death?

Password managers retain our usernames and passwords and can readily be shared with our executor or others. LastPass Family and the 1Password Emergency Kit both enable this.

Other information such as bank and credit card numbers can be kept and shared with emergency contacts using the password managers Keeper and Dashlane.

Facebook lets us select a legacy contact to memorialize our account, remove it from public search results, and turn off birthday reminders.

Google has an inactive account manager. You can set your account to become inactive after a certain amount of time. If you do not specify how long, your account will become inactive after being unused for three months if Google has not been able to contact you by email of phone. Alternatively, you can name someone to access specific services, such as YouTube, or your entire account. You can also set up an automatic response to anyone who emails you or to anyone on your list of contacts.

If you have set up two-factor authorization, a wise step, particularly for financial accounts, you may need to add a trusted person’s face or fingerprint and give that person the Firm’s passcode.

Whatever you do, backup your data, and use an external hard drive.

And make it legal. Your Durable Power of Attorney, Will and any Trust document should include authorization under the Revised Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. The person who is accessing your accounts should not need to commit a federal crime to do so.

 

Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

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