In today’s digital age, the average person has a number of digital assets that should be incorporated into their estate plan. Of course, the average person doesn’t even realize that he or she owns these digital assets; however, Google has made incorporating a few of those assets into your estate plan very simple.
Google recently announced an account tool that is being called the “Inactive Account Manager”. The tool works by allowing the account holder to choose a specific time period that an account has to be inactive before Google steps in and does one of two things. The account holder may choose three, six, nine, or 12 months as the “inactive period”. If an account remains inactive for the designated period of time then Google will either delete the account contents or will allow someone else access to the account, depending on the preference chosen by the account holder when he or she sets u the tool. Google will also try to contact the account holder prior to activating the account settings. The tool is available for Google e-mail accounts as well as for YouTube, Blogger, Drive, Google+ and Picasa accounts.
While the new Google tool makes including some of your digital accounts into your overall estate plan easier, you likely have many other digital assets that also need to be incorporated into your estate plan. If you have not updated your estate plan in the last few years, now may be the time to do so as your digital assets are probably going to do nothing but increase in number in the years to come.