What Happens To My Facebook When I Die?
No matter how busy we are, we all find time to check social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram all allow us to keep in touch with each other. However, we don’t realize how much of our lives, professional and personal, has found its way online. We all have email accounts, banking accounts, credit cards and utility bills. Many have retirement accounts, investment accounts, and mortgages. All are not only a major part of your day to day life, but also are assets — your “digital assets.”
What are Digital Assets and Why Do I Care?
Digital assets are “electronic records in which an individual has a right or interest.” What this means is that anything stored electronically that you have a login and password to could be part of your estate when you die. While most people don’t like to think about what happens when they die, it’s
important to realize that if you log in to a website to pay a bill, to do your banking, to post videos or update your social media profile, there needs to be a plan in place to take all of that over when you are gone. Can you imagine if your loved ones cannot access the bank accounts necessary to pay the mortgage or the utility bills as they grieve and deal with your loss? The goal with an estate plan is to make the transition back to “normal” once a family member passes as seamless and smooth as possible. If your digital assets are not part of your plan, you have left behind a mess for someone else to deal with.
Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA)
On June 25, 2019, the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (the “RUFADAA”) took effect in New Hampshire. RUFADAA grants those chosen to manage an estate (Executors, Guardians, Administrators, Trustees) access to your digital assets so they can be managed and distributed according to your wishes. You can decide how you want your digital assets handled in your estate plan where you can leave specific instructions for what your executor or trustee should do with each digital asset. You can decide if they get discontinued or if you want your Facebook page to be a memorial page. If you don’t leave specific instructions for your digital afterlife, or don’t even have an estate plan, your digital assets may continue indefinitely which may not be how you want things to go.
Your digital assets have value. Don’t let them go to waste. Create or update your estate plan today. Call us.
Hold the Legalese is intended to provide general information only and not legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer for guidance specific to your situation. Our team of experts is here for you.
Christine M. Windler
Helping families with wills, gifts, and estate planning in New Hampshire for 25 years.