Securing the safety of our digital assets, from sentimental diaries and photos to our league champion fantasy football team, is an emerging concern.
“For decades legal wills and trusts have ensured that our most valuable possessions get distributed according to our wishes after we’re gone,” says Jesse Davis, a Madison, Wisconsin based online entrepreneur. “But as more and more of our most sentimentally and economically valuable assets move into digital form, there’s no real way to prepare last wishes for them.”
These digital assets hide behind different login accounts—Facebook, Flickr and Google to name a few—and the legal status of how to pass them on has remained foggy. Large companies such as Yahoo have actually battled in court over whether or not they have to pass on email and other accounts to the relatives of deceased individuals.
What can you do, then, to be in control over what happens to your digital legacy?
Davis is the co-founder of Entrustet, a free online service that allows people to choose how they want their digital assets to be handled.
“Entrustet allows you to identify your most valuable online accounts and computer files and lets you decide which ones are passed on to specific heirs and which are to be deleted when you pass away,” he explains.
Pass on your digital holdings of actual value AND hide that indecent blog or YouTube account from your family: not a bad proposition.
You can name up to 10 different heirs with Entrustet’s product and you’ll select a “digital executor,” the individual who will oversee the transfers and deletions of your assets.
Our legacies are becoming increasingly digital with each passing day, and the market for Entrustet will most likely skyrocket in the very near future.
Although inheriting your Uncle Bob’s Flickr account might not be as thrilling as scoring his collection of classic muscle cars, we all should help ourselves out and start planning what will happen to our online identities after we’re gone.
Entrustet, you are tickle city!