We create a huge amount of personal digital data and most of us haven’t planned how to organize and protect this information for the future. This site will provide you with the information needed to help manage your personal digital data for two key aspects:

  1. Making sure family and loved ones are prepared to manage your digital accounts and data in the event of your death:
    1. Provide access to devices such as phones and computers.
    2. Provide passwords to access critical accounts such as financial, photo, crypto and email sites.
    3. Provide your wishes regarding whether to memorialize, delete or have a family member manage social media accounts.
  2. Preserve personal data you want passed on to your family for future generations which include:
    1. Organizing all your photos and videos and methods to share them.
    2. Establishing a data backup plan.
    3. How to back up data created on third party services.
    4. Collecting autobiographical stories and memories which could also serve as a memorial.

Below are details regarding some of the areas that need to be considered when coming up with a digital legacy management plan to get you started. There are also many articles and other resources that expand on each of these available on this site. This site is a work in progress and will continue to evolve as new information is gathered and organized so be sure to visit back for updates or signup for the newsletter at the bottom of this page.

If you’re curious about the origin story behind why I was inspired to research and help others on this subject matter you can read the origin story in an article here.

I also did this presentation back in 2013 but the overall concepts still hold up.

Backup Management

Creating a backup plan is the first step towards protecting your personal data.

Password Management

Using a password management app is crucial for many reasons. The first is for reducing the ability for hackers to access your account. But additionally it’s important to provide access to your family if something should happen to you.

Photo Management

You should have a process to scan your photos as well as software to organize it on your computer. Your photos should be part of your backup plan. You can also use software to store your photos privately to share with family and friends in the cloud.

To learn more you can visit the dedicated Photo Management Guide

Personal Video Management

Social Media Management

There are several aspects related to managing your social media accounts for the future. You may want to back up or export your data for personal archiving. Most services now have options for determining your wishes for how your presence should be maintained (or deleted) after you die. Facebook and Google allow you to designate someone and what they can access or options for managing your account after you die.

Digital Estate Planning and Will Management

There are a few legal aspects to creating a digital estate plan and Will that are specific with regards to digital legacy. You should designate your digital estate and wishes for them separately. This can be an addendum to your normal will. You should also designate a digital executor for those assets.

  • wrote an article that details the need for this along with a template to create a document for someone to access all of your data. Below are some of the keys to creating this:
    • Provide information for password services / software with the master password to access
    • Designate and train a digital trustee on accessing your data and passwords to help out
    • Provide information for all on-going subscriptions to services related to digital data
  • Over at Trust & Will you can read a comprehensive guide on last will and testaments which is very helpful
  • Another good place to learn is at the Get Your Shit Together website and read their resources.
  • You can also learn about the legal aspects of a digital legacy at the NOLO website. They are the authors of Quicken WillMaker software which I’ve used. After creating the Will you then need to get it notarized.