You may not know what a digital legacy is, but if you use social media like Facebook, or manage your money online, you’ll leave one behind when you die. So the question to ask yourself is, what will your digital legacy be?

Think about it. Your digital ‘life’ exists behind a wall of usernames, passwords and privacy policies. So, what happens when you die? Who can access this private world? The simple answer is no one, unless you leave instructions for how your social media profiles, online accounts and personal files should be taken care of.

Use this easy-to-follow guide to record your digital wishes and take control of the digital legacy you leave.

What are digital wishes?

Digital wishes, sometimes referred to as a digital Will, are a set of instructions specifying what should happen to your social media and other online accounts when you die. It can also specify who you want to take care of your digital affairs.

By documenting your digital wishes, you can set out your preferences and give the person sorting out your affairs a clear idea of what to do. To ensure your instructions are followed, your digital wishes should be added to your Will. So, if you’re yet to make a Will, now could be an appropriate time to get that sorted too.

Why bother recording your digital wishes?

  • Protect your personal privacy
  • Give permission to access, save, transfer or close accounts
  • Decide how you want to be remembered
  • Make things easier for your next of kin
  • Share sentimental digital assets – e.g. photos, videos and music
  • Prevent further upset e.g. birthday reminders

Plan your digital legacy

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information icon A whole new world

Wondering why you need to think about your digital legacy? According to recent statistics, over 80% of UK adults use social media and 60% of the UK population is on Facebook alone. Research from 2015 found that in the UK there were on average, 118 online accounts registered to one email address. Need we say more?