30 years ago last month, my mom passed away at the young age of 46. When I think back to this time and how I helped my Grandma and Grandpa prepare for her estate sale, I would have never imagined that at some point in my life what the importance of a “digital estate plan” would be.
In 1984 we had a rotary phone – with no call-waiting, and the most high-tech gadget in our house was a handheld calculator. We didn’t own a computer, although I had access to one in high-school – and there was no such thing as the Internet at that time. Maybe you remember these days?
Life was simpler then. If we look at the advancements in technology over the past 30 years, we are able to do things instantly, but it also means that much of our lives live in the digital world, which require user ID’s, passwords, PINs and answers to secret questions.
Think about how many places you log into each day; such as:
Desktop PC, Laptop, Tablet
Social Media sites
And many more
This list is not going to get any short; just longer as the years go on.
A digital estate plan is something you probably want to start thinking about. It can be a separate plan from your estate plan, but you may want to consult your attorney to get their opinion. Consider this…would your husband, wife, children or even parents be able to access important accounts in time of need, not to mention in a stressful situation? Would they know what your wishes are for some of these accounts or how manage the finances?
You may already have the start/framework of a digital estate plan with either a password list or program that houses all of your passwords such as 1Password. See our newsletter titled: Passwords: How to Organize, Store and Secureif you don’t already have such a list – as this will help get you started.
You need to decide who you want to be the executor of your digital estate plan along with how they will access your accounts and what your wishes are. You can create your digital estate plan on paper or in and Word file or Excel spreadsheet. Be sure to password protect any digital file you create. (More on password protecting in the previous newsletter mentioned. Don’t forget to tell your executor the location of this file. You could share this file with someone else using Dropbox or OneDrive or another file sharing service. You may also want to consider breaking the list in half and giving two different people each part of the list. I would not recommend storing this list in a safety deposit box however.
Here’s a short list of items that should already be tracked for your online accounts:
Name of Company
Website URL (Uniform Resource Link – AKA Website address)
Answers to any secret questions
You may also want to further categorize your list by; (and in no particular order, except that I’ve alphabetized them here):
File Sharing sites
Kid’s School and Activity sites
Rewards programs; such as Hotels and Airlines
Social Media sites
If you are running a business, you may want to set up a separate list and also consider:
Company Website and Renewal
Note: For financial/bill payment accounts you may also want to include:
The amount you pay each month
How you pay the bill; such as online banking, check, automatic draft, on a credit card, etc…
A note to contact each of the three credit unions and let them know there has been a death; they are: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
Adding on to your password list, consider what you want the Executor of your digital estate plan to do with these accounts and how will your virtual legacy be left; such as:
Deleting the account
Editing the account
What do you want to happen to it?
Is there value to the account and to whom is it valuable?
How would you wanted to be remembered on your social media accounts?
Should someone download your Tweets or Facebook posts?
Do you want someone to make a statement on one of your online social media accounts about your passing?
Final Recommendations and Thoughts
Your accounts and their associated passwords and user ID’s should not be part of your will/estate plan as this information may become public knowledge. Be sure to keep your “digital” estate plan separate.
You don’t need to sit down and do this project in one sitting; it will take you some time to gather all of this information and organize it. If you’ve not already established a password system for your accounts; start there and then continue to build on to it over time. Your loved ones will be very grateful for your help in this area during a time of terrible grief and sadness.
Warmly, Laura (a picture of my mom on her 40th birthday and I)
Preserve Your Children's School/Art Work with Digital Photo Books
For the past 15 years, we’ve seen countless boxes, bins and piles of children’s artwork and schoolwork; all which is difficult to enjoy, cherish and honor in this format!
We can help you downsize those bins, boxes and piles AND give you a way to cherish this work all while freeing up some space in your home.
The solution?Turn these creations into a Digital Photo Book!
What the Service Includes
Digital photo taking of art/school work.
Photo cropping and editing as needed.
Creating a digital photobook using Shutterfly (all pages come with a black background).
Custom cover with:
Grade(s) and or Ages
A CD/DVD with the photos used in the book – or uploaded to Dropbox for you to download.
Returning your art/school work if requested.
You select the art/school work for each book.
You group the art/school work together by book if you want more than 1 book created.
You ship us your art/school work to our secure mailbox or one of our Specialists takes it with them if they are working with you at your home.
You submit the information for the front cover via e-mail or our online form.
You review your completed book online and let your Specialist know if there are any changes. One round of changes is included.
You use the link we provide to order your book, or multiple copies of the books for you to share with family – such as grandparents
$250 for up to 25 images.
$10 per image for each image over 25, which includes photo take, cropping, uploading and placement and editing in book.
If you prefer to have custom pages created for your book with a theme and various embellishments, instead of a black background, we charge $50/hour for the entire project.
Note: You pay for the cost of your own Shutterfly book. An 8x11” book with a hardcover and 20 pages starts at $39.99, but often times they have sales and you can purchase for half the amount.
Upcoming Classes & Seminars
Eliminate Paper and Information Chaos: How to Securely Store Files and Information Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014 - LAST DAY TO REGISTER Is Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Time: 9:00 am- 12:00 pm Place: 21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living | Woodinville, WA Investment: $79 before 10.14.14 Sponsor: 21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living Learn More and Register:Here Digital Photo Organizing: Turn Your Digital Photos into Treasured Photo Books
Date:Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - LAST DAY TO REGISTER Is Tuesday, October 17, 2014 Time: 6:00 pm - 8:30 PM Place: 21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living | Woodinville, WA Investment: $79 before 10.17.14 Sponsor: 21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living Learn More and Register:Here Increase Your Productivity Using Microsoft Outlook 2013 Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - LAST DAY TO REGISTER Is Tuesday, October 17, 2014 Time: 6:00 pm - 8:30 PM Place: 21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living | Woodinville, WA Investment: $79 before 10.17.14 Sponsor: 21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living Learn More and Register:Here
Cash for Your Electronics
Gazelle buys smartphones, iPads/Tablets, iPods and MacBooks and other apple computers. Select your device on their website and get an offer. Payment is via check, PayPal or Amazon gift card, or you can donate the value to one of the charities on their list. Visit www.gazelle.com