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How do you manage your digital death?

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I just completed one of those things that none of us like doing, making a will. I recently had a major change of circumstances in my life, and decided that I should make appropriate updates and provisions. After all, who gets my Batman and Spiderman comics?

Anyways, it’s been bugging me for a while that everything these days is online and, if I was not around, how do I make sure my family know the details to access my bank accounts, cryptocurrencies and such like. They’re all locked and double-locked in hard drives and passwords and PINs I share with no-one.

A while ago, considering this, I created a death wish account (not the movie) which would release an email to any person I wished to be informed of my death, with a specific message to each. This way, I could send my wife details of my account numbers, passwords and PINs, but then I chickened out of it, due to not trusting these after death services keeping my information secure.

In writing my new will with a lawyer involved, I added a clause that didn’t say where or in what area the file could be found but showing details of a file that has my account details inside, which my partner would hopefully be able to find. I worded it in a way that only my wife would understand, as I didn’t trust the lawyers, but it is not something I had confidence in. What if my wife couldn't find the file?

My legal advisor rang me this morning anyway, and said that it would not work. She also advised me that I shouldn’t put any specific details in the will itself, as the executors could find that information and act upon it.

The bottom-line, she advised, is to write a specific letter, sealed until death, that would be held with the will by their offices. The will becomes public upon my passing, but the letter remains private, and can only be opened by the addressee. Cool, I thought, that solves it. Maybe. But I’m still nervous if anyone got access to that sealed letter.

Then I wondered how do other people deal with this? In the good old days, my passing would just leave a load of physical assets that can easily be tallied and divided. In these new days, yes, I have physical assets that can still be easily recorded and managed, but my digital assets are difficult. How do I divide digital assets that I have secured and will not tell anyone how to access?

It’s a question I’ve wrestled with for quite a while and have no answer. Do you have one?

All I have is a load of after death online services that claim to be able to do this and, in case you’re wondering, here is that list.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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