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Digital will and testament

June 3rd, 2013 by bigjim

It can be challenging to write a Will. Sure, it is important to ensure your affairs are in order for when you make that journey home to God, but there is something difficult about staring your own mortality in the face and then writing it down!

Regardless, we are increasingly living in a time when the old instruments of signalling our wishes from beyond the grave are insufficient. So many of our assets now only exist in a digital world: photos, videos, important financial information – all are pieces of ourselves and our loved ones which we may wish to bequeath to the next generation…but how do you do that?

Many companies are thinking about this as some of their original users shuffle off this mortal coil. Facebook allows tribute pages, Evernote is working on a programme to allow content to be accessed for a century, and Google has created the Inactive Account Manager. This service (http://google.com/settings/account > ‘Control what happens to your account when you stop using Google’) allows any Google user to set up a collection of trusted users who will be the recipients of the content you have in your Google/Gmail/YouTube/Picasa accounts.

You then set a timeframe (3, 6, 9, 12 months) after which, if Google has not seen nor heard from you via you logging in, it will send a notification email or text to you to check you are still with us. If you’re not, then it will wait another month, and then send links to your selected few where they can download your content.

It may not be a fun thing to do, but it’s an important thing to think about. So maybe you should take the time to set someone up to receive a digital bequest from you – hopefully many, many years from now.

Posted in General musings, Technology overview | 1 Comment »

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