Article by Fabafterfifty
We are all aware of our material assets, and have no doubt thought about who we will leave what to in our wills- who gets what jewellery, which paintings, money, property, Great Aunt Bessie’s teapot! But what about our ‘digital’ assets? What are they and how can we protect them? I caught up with Paul Golding, founder of iCroak to ask him to clarify.
What are digital assets?
Digital assets are anything held in a digital format.
Social assets. From a social point of view these include email accounts, facebook, twitter, google+ etc.
Monetary assets. There are also monetary assets- paypal, online bank accounts, some gaming systems, all of which may well hold actual funds but where there is no paper trace, with only online records existing of the accounts.
Sentimental assets . Accounts such as Flickr, Photobucket, blogs all of which may have a sentimental value to your family, and in the case of blobs or websites created they may also have a financial value.
How can your family find your digital assets after your death?
So what can you do to ensure that your family both knows about these accounts and can access them when you die?
1.You can always create an excel spreadsheet listing all the accounts and passwords, keeping a copy on your PC and ensuring your lawyer has a copy. Note: If the spreadsheet is held on your machine you need to makesure you have the latest anti-virus software and that your system is backed up.
2.If you give the list to your lawyer, ensure you update him/her when you create new accounts or change passwords
3. You can save your details on a solution such as iCroak, which is secure, and which you can easily access and update. You can also decide which family member you want to have access to which accounts/information.
Why did you set up iCroak?
My aunt died, and we realised a decision had to be made in respect to her Facebook account. None of us knew her password and it wasn’t easy to sort out via Facebook. We did resolve eventually and decided to keep her Facebook page as a memorial account. It made me think about other passwords and accounts which may not be easily accessible to family members once someone died and also what they might have wanted to have happen to their digital legacy, and so iCroak grew as a solution to this problem.
There is so much information no longer kept in filing cabinets. It is so important that people are aware of what exists in a digital format – and where it can be found.