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Planning in advance for your digital assets. Presented by Singapore Hospice Council, supported by OneKey.
13 March 2015

Living in a digital age, many of our personal possessions like family photos and letters now exist only in digital form.

Like what you would do for your physical assets, you may wish to document and account for your digital assets, and leave clear instructions for your caregivers/executors.

Legacy Planning For Your Digital Assets

Here are some points to consider when planning for the access and management of your digital assets after your death.

Social networking & email accounts

While most social networking and personal email accounts belong to the service providers that administer them, you should still plan for what should happen to them.

a) Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Your caregiver/executor could post a final status update before deleting the account. Make sure the account is deleted, and not just deactivated, unless it is to be retained as a digital memorial. For Facebook, it is possible to download all your data before deleting the account.

b) Email accounts

Your caregiver/executor could send, delete, print or archive emails before terminating the account. Alternatively, the account could be retained with an auto-reply or auto-forward set up to ensure that people are informed and to direct them to the executor if there are outstanding issues.

Photos, music and other files

Save photos and music stored in your online accounts onto an external hard drive. You should then either delete the online accounts, or provide your caregiver/executor with your log-in details and clear instructions.

Online banking and securities trading accounts, etc.

List down all your online accounts together with the respective usernames and passwords, and related 2FA devices (in the form of a keypad, smart card, etc.).

Your digital assets include but are not limited to the following:

Personal and Social Media Accounts

  • Email accounts (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo),
  • Social networking accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter),
  • Photo and video sharing accounts
    (Flickr, YouTube, etc.),
  • Shopping/payment accounts, some of which may store credit card details (eBay, Paypal, Booking.com)
  • Blogs (WordPress, Livejournal)

Finance-related Accounts

  • Online banking accounts and related Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) devices.
  • Credit, debit and ATM cards.

Administrative Accounts

  • E-government accounts such as SingPass
  • Websites  and domains

Storage Devices

  • Computing devices including laptops, smartphones, iPads, etc.
  • Data storage devices, also known as hard drives, and online storage accounts, also known as “cloud” storage.

Leaving Instructions For Your Digital Assets

Do table all your online accounts, the respective usernames and passwords, and related 2FA devices, along with clear instructions for the management of your digital assets for handing over to your caregiver/executor.

Ensure that these details are kept in a secure place, with clear instructions in your will for the management of your digital assets.

At all times, seek advice from your lawyer if you are unsure of what to do with your digital assets.