Facebook created a feature called Legacy Contact. This feature allows people to authorize someone to access or modify their Facebook account after they pass away. The individual named as your Facebook Legacy Contact is empowered to do the following:


  • Write a post that will display at the top of your Facebook timeline after you pass on;
  • Change your profile picture and cover photo; and
  • Download all of your photos, posts and profile information.


The Facebook Legacy Contact feature highlights the importance, in today’s society, of including digital assets in your estate plan. The term “digital assets” generally means all of your social media accounts, email accounts, Amazon and iTunes membership, etc. The intrinsic value of these digital assets is only going to increase since many social media platforms are used to maintain some of your most important photographs, videos, letters, and messages.


Lack of State and Federal Laws Has Created a Hodgepodge of Digital Asset Policies Varying from Site-to-Site


There is no state or federal law on the books directly addressing how to properly manage a digital asset like a social media account. There is no uniform procedure for gathering digital assets. In some cases, estate representatives have to be appointed by a court in each state where you own a digital asset, according to Forbes. This wastes time and resources.


Steps You Can Take


There are some simple steps you can take to ensure your digital assets are protected. First, list the service providers of your digital assets (e.g., Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter, Hulu, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) and be sure to appoint someone you trust to manage these accounts after you pass away. Second, create a list of your usernames and passwords for these accounts and store them in a secure place. Make sure to reference this list in your Last Will and Testament.


Experienced Renton Estate Planning Lawyer Ready to Help


We are living in a new age where the vast majority of information is published and exchanged in a digital environment. This is why it is so critical to have a detailed estate plan that incorporates your digital assets. The Law Offices of Dan Kellogg PLLC can help. Contact our office today to schedule a confidential, one-on-one meeting with a member of our legal team.