Digital life after death

Article published 26 June 2019

Digital life after death

WHAT happens to our online accounts when we die? With so much information and transaction being online these days, this is a question worthy of serious consideration.

There are now online services that effectively allow consumers to appoint an executor for their digital assets. Digital assets can include social media accounts like Facebook, loyalty programs like a frequent flyer account, as well as email accounts.

These are services that allow people to direct what happens to their online profiles after they die. Unless provisions are made in this way, courts may be the only way for access to be arranged once you have passed.

In one example of how complicated it can be to get access to a deceased person’s accounts, one widow spent three years to gain approval to access her husband’s photos and videos he had on his mobile phone. The woman in question wanted the photos and videos for her 10-year-old daughter to remember her deceased father by.

If this is something you want to take care off, you’ll be able to find plenty of service providers online. When making a selection, keep in mind that using a provider based in Australia and preferably in your home state or territory may well simplify the way your estate is eventually dealt with.

Send your comments to CPSA on this issue: voice@cpsa.org.au

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