That’s why, in addition to a will, another document, addressed to your Executor, and relating to your digital life, is so important. Social media accounts, online banking, investment accounts, email, all the elements of your online existence, should be cleaned up after your death. You will make your executor’s job much easier by providing the relevant information in a spreadsheet which contains your account login information, password, and any account data such as banking account numbers.
Creating this document will take only an hour or two, but will eliminate hours or weeks of work on the part of your loved ones. In Excel, simply list the accounts on the left then the user name and password on the right. You will want to periodically update the file, every six months or annually, as information changes or passwords are updated. Keep the file on your desktop where it can easily be found, as well as a hard or digital copy with your will.
Provide explicit instructions as to the end date of your social media accounts. A good rule of thumb is to terminate them within 60 days of your death. If your spouse wants to keep a record of the nice things people said about you, it’s easily printed for posterity. This general housecleaning of your digital life will allow your executor to wrap up loose ends as easily as possible, and is a thoughtful gift to leave behind.