Don’t forget to include digital assets in an estate plan

| Mar 17, 2021 | Estate Plan

There is a good chance that you use a Google service to check your email, schedule appointments or manage a digital photo album. Generally speaking, Michigan law allows you to appoint someone to oversee these assets after you die. It may also be possible to appoint an individual to manage online accounts in the event that you are incapacitated.

Multiple people can be designated as authorized users

Google allows you to name up to 10 people who are allowed to access your emails, photos or other digital documents after you pass away. An email alert will be sent to the email addresses on file for those individuals after your account has been inactive for a certain period of time. You get to choose how much time needs to elapse before an account is declared inactive.

You can ask that your accounts be deleted after you die

You are under no obligation to make online information available to others after you die. During the process of creating your Google data personalization plan, you can click the box saying that you want all existing accounts to be terminated upon your passing. An estate planning attorney may be able to talk more about your options and how to decide what might be best for your situation.

Don’t forget about your other online accounts

Ideally, your estate plan will indicate what is to be done with a Facebook, Twitter or other online account when you die. For instance, you could choose to have the account memorialized. In such a scenario, other people can view posts, pictures or other content that was made available to the public. In some cases, individuals may also be able to take actions such as leaving comments on a picture or liking a status.

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