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Strategies for Managing Your Digital Estate

Businessman use laptop login register username and password identity on webpage concepts of cyber security, internet access, join social or personal data protection or forget pass key unlock.

During the day, how often do you reach for your smartphone or tablet? How often do you check up on your account balance or receive social media updates?

The answer might be more potent than you think. One study found that internet users aged 16 to 64 spend nearly seven hours using the web on any device. That average adds up to more than 100 days a year.1

The next question to consider is how many online accounts do you have. Again, the answer may be more than you think. The average internet user in 2024 has more than 100 online accounts. In 2019, that number was between 70 and 80.2

So, what will happen to all these accounts if you’re no longer able to manage them? That’s where the concept of managing your digital estate comes into play.

What Is a Digital Estate?

Think of a digital estate as anything you manage online. In some instances, it can include financial accounts or other wealth management tools. But it also includes aspects such as email accounts, photo libraries, social media accounts, any domains you may own, and any online businesses.

 “Most of all, leave your ‘stuff’ in such a way to finish well!,” writes Mick Owens in his popular book Diamond of Life, The Five P’s of Success and Significance. “Bring glory and honor to your heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, His Son.”

Below we share a four-step approach designed to help you start to get your digital estate organized.

Step 1: Make a List (and Check it Twice)

Making a list is easier said than done, and your list may take some time to complete. Start with some of the more obvious accounts that you may access frequently, such as social media, finance, and e-commerce accounts. Then, move on to the accounts you may access less often, such as utility, online subscription, loyal programs and gaming accounts.

Step 2: Management tool

Once you’ve compiled your list, it’s time to pick a tool to help manage all of your information. Many of our clients work with Everplans. It’s a versatile, online software package that was specifically designed for estate management. Everplans helps organize the details of your life so that you can stop writing passwords on sticky notes and start keeping all of your digital estate materials in one spot. If you’d like to learn more, we’d be happy to invite you to start using Everplans.

Step 3: Appoint a Digital Executor3

Your digital executor doesn’t have to be the same person you named in your will. In fact, choosing someone else might be a better option. That way, these two people can offer different skill sets.

Step 4: Test Out your Strategy

Even the best-planned strategies can include holes and flaws. For this reason, we can’t stress the importance of the testing phase enough. Consider running a surprise test after you’ve set up your digital estate plan. Be sure to outline your goals in advance so that you can measure the test’s success. Then, make any necessary adjustments to address the gaps. For example, did the digital executor seamlessly access all the necessary accounts. Were some accounts overlooked because they were not part of the plan?

Over the next few months, consider setting aside some time to set up your digital estate strategy. You’ll likely complete the bulk of the strategy pretty quickly and then start to add digital accounts over time. A benefit of working with Everplans is that we’ve worked with several clients using this tool. We can help answer any questions, or put you in touch with the Everplans customer service people who can help. Use it!! Everplans will make things much easier when we pass!!!

  1. Fortune.com, March 6, 2024
  2. Tech.co, March 21, 2023
  3. Judymocklaw.com, 2024

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