Help Your Estate Planning Clients Make Decisions about Digital Assets

Estate Planning for Digital AssetsAs an estate planning attorney, you want your clients to know you’ve got their back. You want them to feel confident you’re giving them every piece of information that could possibly help them plan for an uncertain future.

You don’t hold out on your clients, and neither do we. We stay up-to-date on current trends in estate planning law — just in case it benefits your clients — and therefore, you.

With that, we’d like to let you know about a brand new Facebook feature that allows a person to memorialize their Facebook account in the event of their passing. Are you helping your clients make decisions about their digital assets?

The importance of digital assets is often overlooked in daily life. We usually don’t think about material stored on hard drives or locked away in our social media accounts during end-of-life planning.

Reminding your clients about things like photos stored in “the cloud,” along with videos, PDFs, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and written social media posts can help them feel that everything is accounted for. For some people, personal posts represent the unique footprint of their lives. Digital assets like photographs and videos of once-in-a-lifetime events can be irreplaceable.

Something to tell your clients about right away is Facebook’s new memorialization feature. Memorialized Facebook accounts are a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a loved one has died.

Memorialized accounts have the following key features:

  • Once an account has been memorialized, the word, “Remembering” is visible next to the deceased’s name on their profile.
  • Depending on the privacy settings of the account, friends can share memories on the memorialized timeline.
  • Content the person shared during their life stays on Facebook and is visible to the audience it was originally shared with.

Facebook also allows users to appoint a “legacy contact,” someone with the authority to make decisions about an account once it has been memorialized.

A legacy contact can write pinned posts on the deceased’s profile to share memories or offer information about a memorial service. He or she can decide who posts tributes, respond to friend requests, update the profile picture and cover photo, and basically manage the account.

Or, if your client wishes, they may decide to have their Facebook account deleted upon their passing. You can provide clients with very simple instructions to arrange for account deletion or appoint a legacy contact right from Facebook’s website: https://www.facebook.com/help/103897939701143

We stay on the cutting edge of new trends in estate planning because we never want you to get left behind. Make sure you check our blog often for content that can serve your clients.