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When a digital estate plan is needed

Georgia residents who have digital assets ranging from email and social media accounts to domains to cryptocurrency accounts might want to consider a digital estate plan to accompany their regular estate plan. The first step in creating this plan is to make a list of all digital assets and how to access them, including passwords.

Next, a person should consider whether there is a tech-savvy loved one who could act as digital executor or whether different people should be responsible for different accounts. Access to email accounts is key since this is where any necessary password resets will be sent.

People should also consider what they want to happen to these assets. Some companies already have frameworks in place. Google users can choose different time periods of inactivity that will prompt either notification of people or a deletion of data. Facebook users may choose someone to be a legacy contact who can memorialize the account and make changes to it. There is also a way to memorialize a Facebook account if a legacy contact is not appointed, but no one can make changes to the account.

There are a number of other elements to consider in creating a digital estate plan. Many sites have terms of service that limit what kind of access others can have to a user's account, so it is important to review these and make sure the instructions are in accordance with them. People might have photos or other types of documents with sentimental value on old hard drives or flash drives that they want to go to a certain person. As with other estate planning documents such as wills and trusts, digital estate plans should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they accurately reflect a person's wishes, assets and current family situation.

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