How to manage your digital life when estate planning

Each social networking platform or internet provider has different rules regarding your digital afterlife. So what do we do with our digital life when we die?

Most of us have left the world of getting pictures developed and displayed in a photo album, as physical memories that can be passed down the generations. Even the art of sending letters is lost on younger generations in 2017.

However, with most of our lives now on online, it begs the question as to what we do with our digital life when we die? In this article, we’ll discuss the various methods of digital estate planning and how a wills and estate lawyer can help you navigate this process.


With more than 15 million monthly active Australian users, according to Social Media News, Facebook remains the largest social media platform in the country. So, when you pass away, what happens to your Facebook account?

Facebook now holds many precious family memories.

Although rules do change from time to time, you’re currently able to choose between having your account memorialised or permanently deleted. In the case of the former, your family and friends are able to share memories on your timeline, but you won’t appear in public spaces. If you want the page memorialised, you’ll have to nominate a legacy contact who can manage your profile without affecting past posts, photos and messages.

As such, it might be handy to record or disclose passwords to avoid family from being locked out of information on your profile. An estate lawyer can help to look after login information, which can be passed on as part of the estate.


Google follows strict privacy guidelines when handing over login access to family members. In fact, the company needs a range of different details to satisfy if your request is genuine, stating on its website that “our primary responsibility is to keep people’s information secure, safe, and private. We cannot provide passwords or other login details.”

Google follows strict privacy guidelines when handing over login access to family members.

With this in mind, it might be a good idea to discuss your digital life with an estate lawyer who can put provisions in place around your email logins and other email-related content.

General hard drives and computers

Do you have family memories, sensitive information and other content locked away on laptops, hard drives and desktop computers?

If this is the case and you’re the only one with access, then it’s worth noting down passwords and usernames to then include in your will as part of your estate planning.

To ensure you have your digital estate planning covered, get in touch with the team at Turnbull Hill Lawyers today – we look forward to speaking with you and your family.

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