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[ARTICLE] Do You Have A Digital Estate Plan?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by The Scarlet Pimp, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Do You Have A Digital Estate Plan?

    What will happen to your email, Facebook, iTunes and Amazon accounts if you die?
    It's an uncomfortable question, but leaving it unanswered can be vastly more distressing
    and costly for your loved ones who survive you.

    Here are some tips on setting up a digital estate plan...

    You Can't Take Them With You...

    Sooner or later, we'll all kick the bucket, buy the farm, or shed the mortal coil.
    But when you go, what will happen to your online accounts? You may or may not be content to
    just leave your Gmail or Facebook account dormant.

    You may have photos or documents in cloud storage. What if you have money in your Paypal account?
    And will your surviving relatives have the keys to your online banking or investment portfolio?

    Digital Estate Planning

    Also keep in mind that email and social network accounts can get hacked. Families and friends
    have been traumatized by spam sent from the accounts of the deceased. It can be difficult for
    survivors to get online accounts shut down after someone dies.

    Sometimes, it requires an expensive lawsuit or other court action.

    Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and some other major online services have procedures for handling the
    accounts of deceased members. In most cases, they require faxed copies of a death certificate,
    the photo ID of the requestor, and a notarized statement of authority.

    But Amazon, Grooveshark, Foursquare, and many others don't publish any information about dealing
    with deceased members' accounts. The DeceasedAccount website offers a handy guide to the
    deceased-member policies of many online services.

    The simplest solution is to write down all of your accounts and their login credentials,
    then give that list to someone you trust. Of course, you'll have to remember to constantly
    update that document when you change passwords or create new accounts.

    But what if you don't trust anyone with all of your digital keys, at least while you're still
    alive?

    Digital Estate Planning Tools

    DeadmansSwitch.net lets you send emails after you die. An email to your executor, for instance,
    might contain a list of accounts and passwords or a full-blown digital will and testament.

    The service sends a check-in email to you every so often; you confirm that you're still alive by
    clicking on a reply link. If you don't reply within 60 days, you are presumed to be dead and your
    stored emails are sent.

    The free version supports up to two recipients. For a one-time fee of $20, you get up to
    100 recipients and the ability to customize the check-in intervals and reply deadline.

    SecureSafe.com adds cloud storage to the posthumous email solution. You can upload documents
    and other files that will be sent to recipients upon your presumed death. Each file gets assigned
    to a beneficiary, so you can leave different things to different people.

    The free version supports storage of up to 50 account passwords, while paid versions provide more
    storage space and security such as two-factor authentication that beneficiaries must provide to
    access their bequests.

    The Digital Beyond is a news and information site devoted to digital estate planning. It offers a
    directory of services similar to those mentioned above; links to news articles on the subject;
    and a book called, "Your Digital Afterlife" that can help you consider what your digital legacy
    should be and set it up according to your final wishes.

    What do you want done with your email after you die? Many people want a relative to login and send
    a message to all contacts with their news of their passing.

    Should your Facebook page be closed or converted into a "memorial page"?

    How much money do you keep in Paypal, and who should get it when you die?

    How about your digital photos stored on Flickr? Do you have a blog or website that may need to
    be closed down? These and many other questions are worth answering before you go.


    Links:

    http://deadmansswitch.net

    http://securesafe.com

    http://thedigitalbeyond.com

    http://deceasedaccount.com
     
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  2. Black.Star

    Black.Star Junior Member

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    I actually wrote a script for this...