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Protecting Your Digital Legacy

By July 21, 2012Estate Planning

I recently took a moment for a “walk down memory lane”.  During this walk, I pondered a time when things were simpler, the pace of life slower.  I thought of the days before cell phones, laptops, big screens and internet.  A time when bills were paid with a check in the mail, “social networking” meant knowing your neighbors, and “blogs” contained paper and were referred to as journals.  Unfortunately, my revelry into the past was quickly interrupted by a ringing cell phone, an incoming text message and several emails needing a response - leading me quickly back into the modern world.

Our world today is becoming increasingly digital, with technology moving forward in leaps and bounds.  With our day-to-day life evolving into a mixture of the physical and digital world, it makes sense that our planning should as well.

The need to protect one’s digital presence is a topic that is steadily gaining awareness.  Many people pay their bills online, maintain a blog, have a Facebook page, sponsor one or more websites, and use other digital resources.  These are rapidly becoming an important part of our legacies, making it necessary for our planning to incorporate the means to access these sources and maintain them when necessary.

Adding your digital legacy to your estate planning is growing more prevalent.  This involves leaving access information for all the various online sources you use: banking, payments, investments, social networking, websites, blogs…etc.  Make a list of websites with user names and passwords and keep it with your estate plan in a secure location – preferably a fire-proof safe.  There are also commercial providers that will securely store your user names and passwords.  Guidelines as to how you would like your digital presence handled once you are no longer able to maintain it yourself can be established.

As our world becomes increasingly technology dependent it is important that we include our digital resources as a part of our estate planning.  Realizing that our legacy incorporates both the physical assets and the digital assets is the first step.  Make certain you provide the means for your digital legacy to be preserved.  If you have questions or would like more information, contact MH at 888.222.1328.

Contributed by MH attorney W. Durrell Nielsen

Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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  • Steve Albury says:

    Digital Legacy is becoming a pretty hot topic and the traditional will as it stands currently does not really have the capacity to deal with digital legacies due to the fluid nature of online accounts.

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