Thursday, April 26, 2012

Digital post mortem

My cousin James Hayes found and sent this article, titled "Deathless Data" from The Economist on a topic I had not previously thought much about.  Though my husband and I share passwords for all our email and banking accounts, I had not thought about my Facebook or Twitter accounts where there is a great deal of data stored.  If we were both gone, would our executor know what to do with our digital property?

Rather than wait for the new service described in the article, why not simply determine who you want to have access to the data after you are gone, and note that in the documents that you leave behind.  It may be that this will become a standard item included in wills, but right now I don't believe lawyers have thought much about the different between digital and material property.


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  2. Last week, this topic came up in a gathering of a few MSIM alumni. We were more talking about the legal side (Apple has a pretty clear stance on what happens to your iTunes library after death), but the impact is certainly much greater than that. One of us actually was keeping a list of accounts and passwords to accompany their will. I think that's pretty clever, to be honest.