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Why you should protect your digital footprint after death

One thing that people need to start accounting for in their estate plans is the protection of their digital accounts and assets. Take, for example, the number of people who have accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media pages. These accounts can be left open after a person's death, closed or converted into legacy accounts, which can be used to mourn, celebrate and remember a person after they've passed away.

If you are someone who has social media accounts like these, it's your responsibility to decide how you want to handle your social media accounts after death. In your estate plan, you can provide passwords and usernames to help others access your accounts to do with them as you designate.

It is important that you make your wishes known clearly. If not, someone could access these accounts and do things that you would not want.

If you make money off your social media presence or perhaps via your own website, it's even more important to be specific about what you want to happen to those funds when you pass away or if you become incapacitated and cannot control your own finances.

Your attorney can guide you through the entire estate planning process. This includes helping you take the necessary steps to protect your social media accounts as well as your other digital assets. With the amount of hacking and other fraudulent activity that occurs online these days, it has never been more important to make sure that you protect your online presence (or remove it) when you're no longer around.

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