As more people around the world join the Internet community each day, and as we all slowly put our most private and sensitive documents and other materials into digital format, the question about what happens to it all when we die continues to be a hot topic. There have been several services that have popped up, many of which we’ve written about, that offer to update your Twitter and Facebook accounts with your last tweet and status update after your death (which you write before you die).
In addition to regular estate planners, there are now digital estate planners who specialize in helping people prepare their digital lives so everything will remain safe (deleted, stored or transferred) after they die.
A while back I saw a tweet in my Twitter stream which really stuck with me. I wish I could remember who sent it. It read something like, “One of the jobs of a best friend should be to delete your web history after you die.” I am an insanely private person, and I agree, even something as simple as web history should be deleted to keep that person’s integrity and privacy intact even after he or she dies. I know I would want that.
Justin at Life Insurance Finder sent us an email with this infographic they created called Step By Step Expert Guide To Protect Yourself Online Before You Die. I thought this was really well put together, so I wanted to share it with you. You may have not ever thought about this before, but chances are, you have digital assets. Did you know that three Facebook users die every minute? What happens to those accounts? Do you want to plan for that or would you rather live on forever online? What about your online privacy and legacy after you die? Since most of us have almost our entire lives logged in a myriad of social networking sites and blogs, these kinds of questions are becoming more and more relevant to ask ourselves.
My dear friend @imadnaffa abruptly died in September of 2011, and his wife still tweets on that account every once in a while now. In a way, it’s nice to see that, but since there are still tweets coming from there (but not very often), and since his avatar and bio are still intact, I’m sure many people don’t even know he’s passed away. Another Twitter friend of mine, @treypennington, took his own life (also in September of 2011). He left his own last tweet on his account, which is still at the top of his Twitter page. He still lives on with his Twitter page, which has over 100,000 followers. Both of these Twitter accounts, which I’m just using as examples, are places I can go online and feel time completely stop, or even move backwards in a sense.
What will happen with your Twitter page, or your Facebook photos, or your online bank statements, or your emails and texts, or your music, or your file sharing accounts, or your domains, or your blog(s), or your online investment accounts, or your online journal, etc. after you die? This is all just food for thought of course.
Click Infographic To Enlarge