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Digital estate planning: 5 tips on how to avoid after-death social media disaster

A digital estate plan helps decide what will happen to your digital assets, including social media accounts, after you die.
A digital estate plan helps decide what will happen to your digital assets, including social media accounts, after you die.
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Whether you’re young or old, the advice is always to plan for your eventual demise. But while you may have already done the usual things — created advanced medical directives, a will, a trust — there’s one more thing you need to take into account in this interactive cloud-based era: Digital estate planning.

Simply put, it’s a plan to terminate your digital presence — including your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Flickr and Tinder accounts, not to mention that login for that you forgot about — so that they don’t persist after you’ve gone to your Candy Crush reward. 

The issue is real: Weeks after comic legend Joan Rivers died, her Facebook status endorsed the new iPhone 6 in first-person words. 

Where do you start? AirTalk speaks with Charley Moore, CEO and Founder of, on Monday for advice. But KPCC has a few suggestions to get started (thanks to and for the advice).

1. Take an inventory of all your digital accounts.

These include ALL of your email accounts, blogs, online backup programs, photo and document-sharing sites, financial accounts, iTunes libraries, home utilities managed online, sound, video and photo files. While you may not think you have a lot of physical or financial assets, chances are you do have a bunch of digital ones.

2. Keep your digital asset information in a safe place.

One option is Google's Inactive Account Manager. C|net has published step-by-step instructions. Another is a password management program: has a list of some of the better ones.

3. Designate a trusted friend or family member as your digital estate executor

This is the person who has knowledge of where you keep all your digital asset information, with instructions on what to do with it all.

4. Decide how you want your assets to be handled.

Do you want your social accounts to send out one final post, tweet, or photo posthumously? Do you want all your digital accounts closed? Do you want all your audio, photo and/or video files deleted? Leave your executor detailed instructions on a flash drive.

5. Keep in mind that estate planning varies from state to state.



Charley Moore, CEO and Founder of

Do you have a digital estate plan? Please share it with AirTalk listeners in the comments below, or Tweet us @KPCC.