Dealing With Digital Assets After Death

The New York Times had an interesting blog entry the other day about how one should plan to have one’s digital assets dealt with after death.

The author is not talking about bank or brokerage accounts accessed by electronic means, but about one’s PayPal account, or eBay, or Second Life virtual/real estate, etc — social media assets, as it were — or just personal information that one might not want to survive one’s own ability to control it.

Is this something we should be concerned about in Canada? What would you recommend? Or do most people really have to care at all?


  1. I think about all my intellectual property throughout the web– over 5 years of blog posts, articles in webzines, and accounts in a large number of networks. Even if I don’t use them often, they are still part of my personal brand and reputation that no doubt will survive me to some extent.

    Interestingly, the woman who was interviewed for the NY Times article, Adele McAlear, is a social media/marketing consultant based in Montreal.

    For those in the Ottawa area, she is scheduled to speak on “Digital Legacy” on November 12 as part of the Ignite series:—november-12-2009.html

  2. John, it’s absolutely something that everyone needs to think about, no matter where you live. Even someone who doesn’t blog or spend a lot of time on social networking sites will likely have one or two email addresses. Often it is that email address that is the key to most online accounts and services. If you appoint a digital executor, your email address and password is a fundamental part of gaining access and managing that person’s online identity after they’ve passed or been incapacitated in some way.

    Indeed, I am speaking in Ottawa this week about death and digital legacy. Thank you Connie for the shout-out.