When I give a presentation about digital legacy, I like to explain the importance of including digital assets in end of life planning, by putting the assets into different categories. This helps me to define which assets are potentially linked with financial inheritance.
Therefore, included in the Social Embers advice for digital legacy planning, we draw attention to registered domain names for websites and blogs that may have both financial and emotional value.
A good example of this is demonstrated by a report that featured in
The Canadian Press on 4th December 2019. A children’s hospital in Toronto had a website linked to a domain name, but it had allowed the registration to expire. Most domain names need renewing annually, so that any associated website will remain linked to it. The Hospital for Sick Children’s website was reported to have become linked to a cannabis blog that discussed the use of marijuana. As the domain had not been secured by the hospital this allowed it to be used by a third party for a completely unrelated purpose.
If you run your own website or blog, the registered domain name could potentially have high financial value, so it is important that you treat it as an asset. Records of the renewal date, the hosting company and the contract you have in place would need to be accessed by a digital executor, so that it can be managed on your behalf. You may have sales and downloads linked to websites that would need to continue after your death. In some cases payments generated by these important digital assets could be income that others in your family might rely on.
The Social Embers DIGITAL LEGACY TOOLKIT helps to explain what digital assets are and how they should be recorded as part of your trust and estate planning. We know that many digital assets such as these can be overlooked.
Thank you for reading this blog post, please get in contact with us if you would like any more advice regarding specific digital legacy planning.