Virtual Asset Protection in an Online World


Google on Wednesday became one of the first major Internet companies to put control of data after death directly into the hands of its users.

Technology has changed the way we view assets, as we now have virtual assets to protect in addition to our tangible property. Our estates now include digital assets like online banking and brokerage accounts. Web-based businesses are increasing and owning property in cyberspace has become a reality. So what happens to our virtual life when our physical life is over?

What happens to everything on the cloud when you die?

From your personal information to Facebook accounts to iTunes collections, so much of it exists online. Until recently, there have been few solutions to the meticulous record keeping to keep everything straight, let alone remembered.

Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported in an article titled “Google Lets Users Plan ‘Digital Afterlife’ By Naming Heirs” that Google has become amongst the first and likely the largest company to offer users a proactive digital-estate planning tool - the “Inactive Account Manager.”

The important take-a-way is the importance of the planning. What about your other accounts and bits of data snaking across the web? What plans have you made to document your virtual life into the afterlife?

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (April 11, 2013) “Google Lets Users Plan ‘Digital Afterlife’ By Naming Heirs

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