Digital Legacy Plan: A guide to the personal and practical elements of your digital life before you die

Digital Legacy Plan: A guide to the personal and practical elements of your digital life before you die

by Angela Crocker, Vicki McLeod


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When you die, what will be left about you online? How will your online accounts be accessed and how will you be remembered for posterity? From online banking to decades worth of digital family photos, copious creative or intellectual property, or personal history documented on social media, everyone has a widespread digital footprint that tells the story of our lives. But how much of that story remains online after we’re gone? Angela Crocker and Vicki Mcleod team up to give readers ideas and tips on how to handle their digital legacies. Vicki focuses on the personal aspects of legacy, while Angela brings it down to earth with the practical, how-to aspects. One hundred years from now, there will be one billion dead people on Facebook. And while it can be uncomfortable to talk about death, it’s important to prepare the personal and practical elements of your digital life before death. This guide offers best practices for online memorials, social media and mourning, and digital etiquette in death. Also tools and resources are included throughout the book to help your digital estate planning and empower your estate’s executor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781770403109
Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
Publication date: 03/19/2019
Series: Reference Series
Edition description: None
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 1,224,680
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Angela Crocker has been described as a pioneer of ethical social media, a business savvy digital goddess, and an information organizing superhero. Angela works as an author, speaker, and instructor to help businesses and individuals plan, communicate, and engage through digital media. She is the author of  Declutter Your Data and The Content Planner. Vicki McLeod is the founder of Main Street Communications Ltd., a strategic planning and communications firm in Vancouver. In 2013 Main Street was shortlisted by Small Business BC as one of the Top 5 Online Marketers in the province. She was honored as 2014 Business Leader of the Year. She’s the author of #Untrending, a local newspaper columnist, and a TEDX speaker.

Table of Contents

Introduction xv

1 Overcoming the Taboo of Death 1

1 Accepting Our Mortality 1

2 Talking about Death: A Social Shift 3

3 Seeking Spiritual Comfort Online and Offline 5

4 Tender Territory: The Importance of Self-care 9

5 Immortality Promise of the Internet 12

6 Why You Can't Rely on Bit Rot 14

2 What Is a Legacy? 17

1 Legacy by the Generations 19

2 How Digital Is Your Life? 22

3 Your Personal Legacy 23

4 Legacy of Your Loved Ones 26

5 Professional Legacies 26

3 Assets and Access 29

1 Digital Assets Inventory 30

1.1 Online banking 30

1.2 Internet access 31

1.3 Servers 32

1.4 Websites 32

1.5 Email and databases 33

1.6 Storage solutions 33

1.7 Productivity services 34

1.8 Social media and online communities 34

1.9 Shopping accounts 35

1.10 Loyalty programs and memberships 37

1.11 Gaming accounts 37

1.12 Entertainment accounts 37

1.13 Events and tickets 38

1.14 Medical attention 38

1.15 Academic interfaces 39

2 Who Has Control? Who Has Access? 40

3 Legal Mechanisms 41

4 Legacy Planning Options 45

1 Make Your Choice before Death 45

2 Death by Unnatural Causes 46

3 Bequeath Your Digital Life 47

4 You're up for Digital Adoption 50

5 Your Legacy Is Lost 51

6 Neglected or Ignored: Digital Litter 51

5 Digital Estate Planning 53

1 Beyond Your Last Will and Testament 54

2 Empowering Your Executor and Digital Steward 54

3 Working with Professionals 55

4 There Are No Secrets in Cyberspace 57

6 Transitioning Social Media, Websites, and Other Tools 61

1 Managing Social Media Accounts 62

1.1 Facebook 65

1.2 Instagram 67

1.3 Twitter 68

1.4 LinkedIn 69

1.5 Pinterest 69

1.6 Snapchat 69

2 Google and Other Websites 70

2.1 A Note about YouTube 71

3 Password Managers 72

4 Access to the Management of Other Websites 75

5 Other Online Accounts 78

6 Basic Guidelines for Transitioning Accounts 79

7 Online Memorial Planning 81

1 Digital Memorials 82

2 Social Media Obituaries 85

3 Curating the Museum of Me 90

8 Death and Dying in the Digital Age 97

1 Dealing with Death in the Twenty-first Century 98

2 Grieving in the Virtual Community 99

3 The Dead among Us 100

4 Social Media and Mourning 102

5 Reliving Sad Memories 105

6 Comfort in Self: Your Self-care Contract 106

7 Comfort in Community: Online Groups 107

8 Digital Etiquette in Death 109

9 The Social Shift: Death at the Intersection of Digital and Analog 113

1 Everybody Dies: What's Your Plan? 114

2 Social Responsibility: We're in It Together 114

Download Kit 119


1 Self-care Contract 10

2 Your Digital Life Worksheet 24

3 Digital Assets Inventory Worksheet 31

4 Important Contacts Worksheet 56

5 Clean Your Digital Closet Worksheet 59

6 Social Media and Other Accounts Worksheet 63

7 Writing an Obituary Worksheet 89

8 Personal Milestones Worksheet 93

9 Privacy Preferences Worksheet 95

10 Museum of Me Worksheet 96

11 Personal Reflections on Death and Dying Worksheet 103

12 Digital Legacy Plan Checklist 115

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