Digital inheritance: why you need to consider it

Your digital heritage

Digital Inheritance & Legacy

You probably haven’t spent too much time thinking about your digital inheritance. In this article, we’ll try to convince you of how important it can actually be. In the morning when you wake up, you yawn and… immediately grab your phone to check your social networks and email inbox. Do you also jump out of bed to rush to your regular mailbox? You know, the one outside your door? Probably not.

At night when you’ve settled back into bed you watch just one more episode of your favorite show (okay maybe two) on your laptop and -shit!- send a quick text to your neighbor. Almost forgot to reply! What if you wouldn’t have these oh-so-convenient devices? Would you drag your TV into your bed? Or your neighbor? Don’t think so.

An example of digital inheritance

I think it’s safe to say we live a digital life. Picture this: if your digital life was a house, how many rooms would it have? Probably more than the house you’re currently living in. In one day alone you could easily find yourself in more than 10 different rooms (for instance: 2 social networks – work email – personal email – online newspaper – food ordering account – photo album – music streaming service – phone – laptop – tablet – shopping account – streaming service – that’s 13!).

All of these rooms have doors and most of these doors are locked. With a password. You probably have so many passwords and key-codes that you can’t even remember all of them.

 

While you’re still here that doesn’t really matter. You can easily fix a spare key by creating a new password. Your house is vibrant and always accessible. To you. But what happens to your digital house once you are gone? If you don’t organize a key handover or leave a spare key around, your house might end up locked forever.

This is why taking care of your digital heritage is important. Not just for you, but for the ones you leave behind.

What could go wrong with your digital inheritance?

With today’s many easy-to-use tech solutions, our digital footprint is deep. Think about the rooms in your digital house – email, social media, bank accounts, family photos and videos, smart home applications, or even cryptocurrencies are just some of the many examples. Those rooms and the items in them can be of significant worth to your friends and family.

It would be a shame if all those memories got lost. But that’s not the only reason digital heritage is important to take care of. Online accounts that are left behind unattended could become vulnerable over time to hackers, thus placing family and closest ones at risk. Legally-binding documents are usually following old fashioned laws and often don’t take your digital inheritance in consideration. That’s why it’s time to come up with new solutions and we are certain that an e-will is the best answer to that. Just keep on reading.

Are current options working?

Some social media companies have a protocol in place. Your accounts can be deleted by an appointed contact, and some platforms also allow the option to memorialize it. Memorializing a social media account is usually a little easier than deleting one as it’s not so final. But it’s not easy for grieving loved ones who are left with your digital carriage after you’re gone. The procedures currently in place are complicated; they often include providing proof of identity, death, and/or relationship. Unfortunately, there have been many controversies and misuses of these features over time. So when it comes to safety, make sure to consider more options.

Apple's approach

Another recent option comes from Apple. With the launch of the new iOS 15 in the fall of 2021 comes a Digital Legacy program. Apple users will be able to appoint a legacy contact who will be able to request access to the deceased’s iCloud account. It is not completely clear yet how it will work. The legacy contact will be able to access data such as pictures and notes, but won’t receive the lock screen code or key-chain.

To conclude, yes there are working options (coming up), but they’re not all-encompassing enough to represent your digital life. Myend offers a solution that is similar and even more comprehensive.

How can you SAFELY pass on your passwords?

Myend’s answer to the issue of safely passing on digital access is the personal Myend Vault. Myend’s Vault feature allows you to store your passwords and key-codes securely. Then once you’re gone, Legacy Contacts that you’ve assigned will automatically gain access. They will never be able to see your passwords until you pass away. Myend is also not restricted to any company or type of software, like Apple, Google or Microsoft. You can leave specific wishes and instructions to make things easier for them.

Myend's solution to a safe digital inheritance

Myend has a personal Vault built into the platform for you to store passwords, logins, and key-codes. This data is only shared with your Legacy Contacts after Myend has attempted to verify your passing multiple times. It will then help your Legacy Contacts gain access to your devices, email, and social media accounts, so they can cancel subscriptions or delete certain data or accounts after you’re gone. If needed, you can leave specific instructions per account on what needs to be done with it.

Myend’s personal Vault is safe and secure. You are the only person allowed to see the data for as long as you’re alive. Using technology makes our lives easier during our lifetime, but it complicates our afterlife, at least for the ones we leave behind. Every day we create more digital heritage, your digital house gets bigger and more full.

Final Thoughts

After reading this article, you most likely understand that more digital heritage means more responsibility.

Our advice: be responsible and plan ahead. Of course planning things “just in case” is not the most common thing and you might not look forward to it, but Myend’s end-of-life planning service at least makes it quick and easy.

With the help of Myend you can enjoy the here and now (more) without having any worries on your mind. Enjoy both your digital and your analog life and leave things behind the right way! Try Myend today here.

Disclaimer

Myend is not a law firm, it does not engage in the practice of law, and it does not render any official legal advice. Therefore, you are hereby advised to seek your own legal counsel regarding any legal issues. Myend’s articles are meant to be taken as suggestions and therefore Myend carries no responsibility for the user’s actions.