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Managing Digital Asset for a secure family legacy

In today’s digital age…

… managing our legacy involves more than traditional assets. For individuals aged 45 and above, online funds and digital wealth are crucial components that demand careful consideration. Join me on an emotional journey as I share the challenges my family faced after my father’s untimely passing, highlighting the importance of making a will, including digital assets as part of your , and appointing executors for a smoother transition.

As a daughter who lost her father a few years ago, John Williams (names changed for privacy), I can attest to the emotional turmoil that accompanies such a life-changing event. My widowed mum and I found ourselves grappling with the intricate web of regulations surrounding my father’s online accounts while dealing with grief.

According to our lawyer, the heart of the issue was about the security measures implemented by online financial platforms. Two-factor authentication, complex passwords, and privacy protocols that created significant barriers for beneficiaries seeking access to money accounts. If my family faced this, I believe other families may also encounter this daunting, red-taped maze, requiring legal authority and court orders to unlock these digital vaults.

Learning from my mum’s journey to secure our family’s financial future: a daughter’s perspective

The untimely passing of my father brought not only emotional turmoil but also unexpected financial challenges for mum and me.

As we tried to settle all of dad’s affairs and estate, I witnessed my mother who had assumed that my father had everything in hand regarding our financial affairs, become more overwhelmed. She simply expected everything to be sorted out in his will. As for the digital “stuff”, that ismanaging Digital Assets and Estates, these were not even a consideration. Ignorance of the importance of online accounts, especially the ones with large sums of money, led us to complications, as we discovered during our family’s challenging time. That’s when I stated to read about it and research it more. I found articles, academic journal papers and more which reveals that a significant percentage of families face difficulties accessing their late loved one’s online money accounts, underscoring the emotional urgency for proactive measures.

It felt like we had to our grieving on hold so that we could manage all the intricacies of what was being asked of us. Learning from the complexities faced by our family, I am determined to act sooner for the sake of my own family’s financial well-being. If my family faced this, I believe other families may also encounter the same. From what I read, they recommend that, as daughters and future matriarchs, we actively engage in conversations about digital assets and online accounts within our families and talk about having a will. They encourage the need for women to be aware and are empowered to act in case of death, instead of navigating in fog during grief.

Preparation is key

By documenting and sharing details of online accounts in the right way with executors of a will and a legal representative, we can ensure a smoother transition of funds. As a mother myself, I am committed to sparing my family from unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles during an already emotionally charged time, passing on the lessons learned from my mother’s experience.

My advice to daughters and mothers is to please, learn how to navigate the digital landscape, make a will, include a digital assets clause, and appoint executors to secure your family’s monetary legacy.

Kutler, Noam. “Protecting Your Online You: A New Approach to Handling Your Online Persona After Death.” Berkeley Technology Law Journal, vol. 26, no. 4, 2011, pp. 1641–70. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/24118668. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.

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