Just in time for the holidays – a little fearmongering. Actually, in this case, I’m ringing alarm bells for a worthy cause – your estate.
Think about all your digital assets, your loyalty points, your Facebook account, your passwords, your photos, your music, your insurance – your life.
So much of what we take for granted today in our daily digital lives is in fact inaccessible even to our spouses after death, unless it’s clearly stated in a will.
This reality came home when I read an article on the subject in the CI newsletter. It makes a very strong case for preparing an inventory of all your digital assets – and then sharing that information with a spouse or executor, and updating your will to include those assets.
The opening paragraph is a must read:
By 2020, the average Canadian at death will have digital assets valued at over $10,000. Digital assets are becoming increasingly more important to Canadians, yet they are rarely addressed in their wills. The BMO Retirement Institute states that 57% of Canadians do not have any provisions for digital assets in their estate plan.
And let’s not forget that beyond the monetary value of these assets, their personal and sentimental value exceeds it.
Think of these kinds of scenarios. A spouse dies unexpectedly and you want to take down the spouse’s website, or access an online account, cash in Air Miles, listen to their iTunes music or stop an online subscription. None of this is simple, particularly without passwords and legal documentation.
It doesn’t take a lot of work to prepare a list of your digital assets. Then share it with someone close to you and insert it into your will (don’t forget to tell someone where your will is stored).
Meanwhile, enjoy all your assets responsibly during a wonderful holiday season.
By the way, give your friends and family an enduring gift – advise them to make their own digital inventory. Or just ask them to read this blog. Thanks.
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