Are your online accounts covered in your will?

Whether you post pictures and updates about your life constantly from your phone or you have important business information backed up in your email account, chances are, your way of life in Michigan has a digital side that is important to you. It could be important to other people, too, and if you die without a plan in place, they could be left without the keys to your online information.

According to The New York Times, there are many ways to prepare for what happens to your online information, in part because different companies have their own practices for the death of user accounts. For example, Snapchat and Twitter require a copy of a death certificate before they will allow a family member to delete an account. They also require verification of the family member’s relationship to the deceased. Facebook and Google allow you to choose a person to take over management of your account after your death. 

Rather than going to each of your accounts and setting up a plan according to that platform’s requirements, you could instead include your digital wishes in your will. This includes choosing a trusted person, and providing him or her with account access and detailed instructions about the contents. For example, you may indicate that your personal emails should be deleted from your Google account, but your pictures and backup files should be shared with friends or family members who will cherish them. 

This information is provided to give you a general overview, but it is not intended as legal advice.