Your Digital Legacy


This week saw the passing of one of our VA colleagues and it got me thinking… what do you do with your digital footprint once you’ve passed?

We hear a lot in business about risk management, succession planning,


ensuring your partner has access to your passwords, insurance policies and so on. Some businesses even write a plan for what to do in the event of illness or accident. But how many of those actually include information about what to do with your online presence – your website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest – the list is endless!

It seems like I wasn’t the only one thinking about this. Recently the Courier Mail/Sunday Mail ran an article about just this topic.

Your social media accounts store years of memories, pictures, data and activities. So it seems that now, lawyers are advising people to think about including a clause in their Will about what should be done with social media accounts on their demise.

Facebook’s policy is that a profile can be deleted at the request of an immediate family member or memorialised so that others can post tributes to them on the Wall. You can see more info about this at the Facebook Blog. Similarly, immediate family members or a person authorised to act on behalf of the user’s Estate can deactivate the person’s Twitter account.

Make a list of all your online accounts and notify your Executor or partner of those. You might keep this list (together with access passwords) with your Will at your lawyer’s office. At the very least let your partner know where they can find them. They’ll have enough to deal with in the event of your death without having to try and remember every online space you have inhabited during your life.

The same applies to your website – include information about who is hosting the site, contact details; the domain name registry; domain expiry information etc so that your family can get in touch with the right people with the least amount of fuss.

If you haven’t thought about it before, now might be the time – before something happens or you fall ill. It’s something none of us like to think about but, as the saying goes, none of us are getting out of this alive, so making things as easy as possible for those left behind should be your focus.

Do you have any ideas for helping your family sort out your digital legacy? Share them below!


(See some more great articles on this topic at New Scientist.)

(For an online memorial off Facebook see Heaven Address.)

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop –


  1. Very true. I’ve thought about this from time to time and have considered I really must prepare that list too. It’s half done. When our daughter died we had her Facebook page memorialised but I don’t know how long they do that for. We don’t have the login details so can’t close the account and no-one can add her as a friend, but people can still leave posts. I wonder how long for.

  2. execva says:

    Good question Kathie. The blog doesn’t actually say how long for but you can contact them – – this may have been the contact you originally used. It looks to me though that it’s indefinite. Facebook tend not to like deleting anything really so it may well be indefinite.

  3. Andy says:

    There are already some companies that are looking to adress exactly what your article covers. is one I have taken the plunge with. It allows me to collate all of my different account infor in one place and then assign a ‘guardian’ after my death to contact the different providers to deal with my accounts.

    The internet is turning many traditional ways of thinking on their head and legacies if another of those things

  4. Gai Brown says:

    Good post, Lyn, and something that we should all consider. I know I will.
    Thanks for giving us a bit of a list to start with.

  5. Kerryn says:

    Thanks for another great article Lyn. This certainly makes you think.

    An alternative to creating a new list, is to use a Password Manager. It’s ideal in this situation as you would store all of your access details for everything online, with one master password. It’s a list that grows with you. Personally I would be lost without mine, and when my time comes, my partner will only need to remember one password for access to my presence online. Here is an old article on top password managers

  6. execva says:

    Thanks for that Password Manager link Kerryn! Will have to check those out. How secure are they – obviously if someone gets into your password manager it could be catastrophic!

  7. execva says:

    Great link Andy! Thanks for sharing it!

  8. Maria says:

    Thanks for this informative post. Many people are not yet familiar with the idea of a digital legacy. There are many online products that can help in managing digital estate. I found one such product mentioned here called . But the bigger issue is of awareness and posts like these are helpful.

  9. execva says:

    Thanks for sharing these links Maria!

Leave a Reply