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Digital Death

Posted on February 3, 2022 in asset protection

What happens to your digital footprint when you die? The number of people who die having created a large digital footprint, such as social media, that will remain after they have passed is growing.  This may result in confusion or concern for the family.  Automated birthday or anniversary reminders, uncertainty of the deceased’s preference that profile be deleted or left as a memorial and whether information that may violate the deceased’s privacy should be made accessible to family.

Further issues come up with how the information is considerately dealt with due to the service providers policies.  The service provider more then likely does not have a clear policy on what happens to the accounts of deceased users.  Some sites, including Facebook or Twitter, have policies related to death, others do not.  They can remain dormant until deleted due to inactivity or possibly transferred to family.

Apple has updated their policy for right of survivorship with iOS 15.2.  This allows a “Digital Legacy” for an iCloud account.  The owner of the account can add up to 5 people as Legacy Contacts.  These individuals can access your data and personal information that is stored in iCloud when you die.  Proof of death is still required, but you can get photos, documents and even purchases.

The question is do you have a plan for your digital footprint when you are no longer around?  Check the sites you use to see if there are options and choose what is right for you.