Recently two sons tried to access their deceased mother’s iPad as part of their inheritance to get family photos but also for documents and all those other things folks store now on their tablets. Apple initially refused to give them access not only to the tablet but also to their mother’s iCloud account where the pictures were being stored. In the end they got access to the tablet but not the iCloud account.
The law is just catching up with Death in the Digital Age. You can’t leave your ebooks to your kids like you used to be able to leave your books. Same goes with your digital music or game character. Ebooks and digital music and movies are licensed to you, you don’t actually own them.
And even if you could bequeath them, how your heirs access them? Do you have an easy way for your executor to get into your digital banking, online storage or tablet? I recommend you use a password manager like LastPass so you only have to provide one password to your executors/heirs to get access to all your online entities.
The Ghost of Twitter Past
What about social media? Your web site and blogs? It’s important to leave clear instructions on how you want to handle your social media after you’re gone.
Do you want your mother to see all your party pictures on Facebook? How do you prevent mourners from hijacking your Facebook or Twitter? Facebook still doesn’t have a clear policy on what happens to your Facebook profile once you’re gone so you need to specify if you want it closed or edited or made available to limited friends.
Protect your digital legacy with clear instructions and passwords.