A 2013 estimate by McAfee found that the average person’s digital assets are worth $35,000. That may be in things such as airline miles, purchased media, online bank accounts, Bitcoins, domain names. Regardless of what they are in, their value can add up quickly.
As my attorney put it, “The digital world is today’s Wild West. There are no sheriffs and no predictable law.” Yet you have to find a way to protect these assets and to pass their worth on when you die.
A recent blog by Sharon Fisher gave some great examples of people who didn’t do anything and what happened when they were gone.
A son gave up about $2000 that resided in a PayPal account because his father hadn’t left a will granting him possession to those funds.
Michael Hamelin, a hacker who died in an accident had secured his family’s systems so well that even with the help of other hacker friends, his wife hasn’t be able to gain access to some of their files, including the only copies of digital photos they owned.
Peggy Bush, who we previously wrote about, was a Canadian widow who was told by Apple that she’d have to get a court order for the company to reveal the password to an iPad card game she and he husband linked to play.
In addition to policies of each company that has an online presence, laws vary by state. It’s a very complex situation.
Be sure you have a plan for how to deal with your digital assets. Check out our book, ACCESS DENIED: WHY PASSWORDS ARE AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR WILL, which will walk you thru the issues and help you to figure out what to do.