The Importance of Remembering Your Digital Estate

Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

It’s hot and smoky in Sacramento this evening. Between the heat and the haze from surrounding wildfires, it’s far more pleasant to stay inside. What I have been doing is taking to heart an interesting article I read awhile back in the finance section of Yahoo.

It asked a thought-provoking question - If you died tomorrow, who would inherit your assets?  A quote from the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils, states half of Americans with kids are set to die without a will!

The article listed the usual issues for consideration and planning with estates – Who gets the house, your money, etc.  BUT, it went a step further into an area many of us haven’t considered, the realm of our “digital estates.”

Increasingly, Americans are developing online presence.  In some instances, that presence may be extensive.  Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn account?  What about a blog or a web domain?  The majority of popular online account services have deceased-user rules and policies, which provide the family or executor of the deceased user information about what’s required to access the account.

It may be important for your survivors to have knowledge of the extent of your online presence – email accounts, photo albums, blogs, music, YouTube, etc.  Personally, I have a trusted person in my family, who has knowledge of most of my on-line accounts, logins and passwords, but the article is prompting me to work on this area of my estate more extensively.   

It is a thought provoking piece, and may act as a strong catalyst for consideration of these areas within your digital/on-line estate.

So folks, it isn’t simply trying to decide which of your children or grandchildren will get the family silver or china anymore.  It’s about an emerging class of digital assets, which likely wouldn’t have been considered as recent as a decade ago.  The full article can be accessed via: “Half of Americans Set to Die Without a Will.”


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Gordon Crawford
Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team - Morristown, NJ
Your Morris County Specialist!

Very very true, Myrl!  To be honest, I've never given it a thought until now.  Another thing to put on my to-do list.


Aug 02, 2018 04:36 AM #22
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

I think we each have things only we know how to do.  I'm the blogger, the Wordpress site maintenance, etc., so if you get a few days in a row without me blogging here, it's probably time to send Liz some flowers :)  As for most of the other stuff, we keep a list of user names/passwords in a fireproof box, so the bulk of what needs accessed can be easily reached.  Bill

Aug 02, 2018 04:52 AM #23
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Custom Home Design

Holy Smokes, I never thought of that!!  Thanks a lot Myrl.

And here is another one from memory lane:

I flew into Sacramento on a marketing trip over twenty years ago.

I vowed to rent a convertible.  Hey, it was California!!
I sped away in a red Mustang.  In about 5 miles I realized something was wrong.  In 15 I was overcome with smoke inhalation and was sick for days! ha

Aug 02, 2018 05:06 AM #24
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

I've often felt like we're always one step behind in the digital age. Technology advances far faster than we can anticipate or even keep up. Good reminder.

Aug 02, 2018 05:47 AM #25
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Why this is not done gives us a window into human nature. We recognize the importance of it but assign it a back burner status. I bet if someone went door to door offering to do this they would be very successful & help many too

Aug 02, 2018 06:39 AM #26
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Myrl

It's a shame it takes natural disasters and such to remind us that we really should be planning ahead for the inevitable...and not just for our physical and monetary assets...and your post is an important reminder to give this some serious thought. We are in good shape now with our estate plan, a trust, will, digital assets, etc. Not only do heirs need to know about your digital life and how to access it, but what to do about it...should your FB page be closed down, for example?


Aug 02, 2018 07:21 AM #27
marti garaughty - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

Myrl Jeffcoat  Absolutely... a problem previous generations didn't have to deal with but obviously we do !

Aug 02, 2018 08:10 AM #28
Steven Nickens
Elite Pacific Properties Maui - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

Morning Myrl, food for thought thanks.

Aug 02, 2018 09:37 AM #29
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Thanks Myrl, I'd better get crackin'...

Aug 02, 2018 09:59 AM #30
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

Myrl Jeffcoat I am increasingly seeing social media accounts left behind when people pass on. Often they leave behind connections that should be removed. We all want our legacy to remain, but only the best should remain.

Aug 02, 2018 10:04 AM #31
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I venture most entrepreneurs don't have exit plans either, yet many, when confronted about an exit plan, couldn't perceive the demise of their business let alone their life.

Unfortunately, that mentality isn't going to change IMHO, however, your post hopefully will generate enough interests to take immediate action and stop procrastinating about this very important issue. 

Aug 02, 2018 02:19 PM #32
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Interesting!  I hadn't thought of that.  I've listed all my passwords so my girls can immediately access all my accounts, social media included.  But never thought of  a digital estate.  

Aug 02, 2018 05:08 PM #33
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

This is something that flits through my mind now and then... need to think about it more seriously.

Aug 03, 2018 09:20 AM #34
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

This is something interesting to consider.  Although, some personal accounts are better off left to fade into the mist.  

Aug 03, 2018 11:16 AM #35
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Got a will. Mrs Lunapie inherits (well, her caretaker(s) will--she's expensive!) and my executor(s) will have access to ALL my SM accounts. They can do what they want with them. I know they'll enjoy making me talk like a puppet from the other side!

Aug 04, 2018 06:32 AM #36
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Myrl,

Very interesting post, congrats on the gold star and have a great weekend ;o)

Aug 04, 2018 10:38 AM #37
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

It's the first time I've heard about the number of Americans without a will. I'm not surprised. I recently did a will myself and my executors will have all of my passwords.

Aug 05, 2018 04:27 AM #38
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Myrl, that's a great topic to post about. Thanks for making me think about this issue. I have a written will, but it does not cover digital assets at all. Now, it's time to figure that out. Congratulations on the well deserved feature.

Aug 05, 2018 08:21 AM #39
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

I use an encrypted password app for  accounts information in it both online and otherwise because i can't remember them all otherwise.. I think I keep it updated well as i need it to access the accounts now...

Thanks for sharing this Myrl Jeffcoat

Aug 09, 2018 09:17 PM #40
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Myrl Jeffcoat What an interesting post and one I have not thought of before .

Aug 27, 2018 07:26 AM #41
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Myrl Jeffcoat

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