What is your Digital Legacy?


We all will leave a legacy behind – something that was unique to us. Did you know you will also likely leave a Digital Legacy? This type of legacy includes your social media posts, any past and present email messages you may have written or received, digital photos you may have taken, any blogs or websites you’ve started, as well as valuable loyalty reward points you may have accumulated.

Some social media sites offer a solution for those of us wanting to plan ahead for our inevitable demise. Facebook, for instance, offers its users the opportunity to create a Legacy Contact. I discovered this when my younger brother recently passed away. He was under 40 and had an active Facebook account. After his passing, I attempted to memorialize his account, but was unable to. Had he created a Legacy Contact (whether appointing me or someone else), his account could have been become memorialized.

Other social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter, as well as email service providers, such as Hotmail, Google, etc, allow a relative to close the departed loved one’s account. Typically, a death certificate is required, as well as specific information about the person wishing to close the account.

If you have a blog or other electronic content that you would like future generations to see, consider creating a document that includes all passwords, usernames, web addresses, as well as your wishes regarding your content. Keep a hard copy of this document with all other important papers (will, healthcare proxy, etc).

If you have specific questions regarding your Digital Legacy, contact a trusted legal representative, especially if you feel the cyber information you’re leaving behind is complex and valuable to those not related to you. And be sure to appoint a trusted friend or loved one to be your Legacy Contact if you have a Facebook account.