Over the past years quite a few online digital legacy service providers have popped up. Some have come and stayed. Some have been consumed by other, larger, enterprises and others have simply fallen by the wayside or changed their model after failing to attain the anticipated sign-ups.
What do you get from these service providers?
The services provided vary, but might include:
- keeping track of your asset names, accounts and locations
- keeping track of your passwords
- identifying your wishes for each asset
- storing the details of one or more executors or guardians
- setting up multiple accounts, which could be useful if you have a need to segregate your assets for any reason. Maybe you have a need to keep some level of secrecy between your guardians?!
- limited file space to upload some of your important digital assets
- triggers that provide you with the ability to send final messages to your loved ones and social media sites upon your death
- providing access to your account by your executors or guardians on proof of death
How much do they cost?
This depends very much on what level of service you decide upon. Some services are free to setup for just a simple inventory managed by you. They often follow the “fremium” model and are therefore likely to charge your for the more useful part of their service. For example, you would be required to pay extra to enable you to manage your executors or send out messages. Payments can be either a monthly or annual fee or even just a single lifetime fee. Have a look at our Digital Legacy Services Directory for a list of providers and more information.
Are these service safe to use?
As you know, no Internet service is entirely safe. If you trawl through our news category you will see many examples of genres of sites and accounts being compromised. Of course, any account you have is also only as safe as the password you use to access it. So remember to choose your password carefully to manage your digital assets, as this will form the master key to all your other passwords. If your account is compromised, phentermine generic ionamin adipex p then the door to your other accounts and your digital life will be rendered wide open. On the positive side though, by and large, these sites are set up with substantial security at the heart of their operation. Perhaps of wider concern would be the viability of the actual business itself.
How do they know you’re dead?
How do these services know of your demise? For example, what causes a trigger to fire and send out messages etc? Some are triggered through inactivity on the account after some variable period of time. Some require you to specifically “check-in” on a regular basis. You should expect the service to also acknowledge production of a death certificate. At the moment though, there is no way we can digitally confirm death to use as a trigger. You should therefore think very carefully and take into account your needs before you sign up to make sure the service is suitable for you, both now and for your executors after your death. What is right for one person may not be right for another. The last thing you want is to inadvertently send out messages to your loved ones because you forgot to check in or couldn’t get hold of your master password.
Should you set up an account with one of these services?
The answer will very much depend on your circumstances. If you have, or are thinking of creating a Will, then the answer might well be yes. If you are terminally ill, then perhaps this could also be an option, provided you were capable of setting up and managing the account.
There are alternatives of course. You could create your own list of your assets in the back of a notebook and keep it somewhere safe at home. You could also use a spreadsheet or some other mechanism. If you wish to use a spreadsheet to start a list, then take a look at our series on creating an inventory of your digital assets.
I have started a topic in the forum on this. Come and share your experiences.