Now that the world has truly gone digital, a key part of end of life planning is to be in control of your digital assets and digital liabilities.
This time last year, we were offering readers an investment opportunity. This was our gentle reminder that we’d all be a bit richer if we invested in our end of life planning.
A phrase we often used to describe the value of our free Life Planning Tools is that they help sort digital legacies from digital litter. So, you might want to pick out 6 really key photos from your 20,000 pics in the Cloud to let others know why they matter.
Digital assets and digital liabilities
This week friend of Final Fling, Dan Tannenbaum adds a critical reminder of the growing importance of being in control of our digital assets and digital liabilities.
Over to Dan…
Understanding your digital liabilities
Just recently, I was sitting with my partner and lawyer going through our Will and realised that I hadn’t planned what to do about my digital liabilities. And I fear I’m not alone in this.
Digital liabilities are essentially the online things that you will still be paying for when you die. Beyond the usual monthly direct debits and standing orders for rent, mortgage, gas, electricity, broadband, phone and hobbies or interests, what services are you using online that only YOU may know about, that you haven’t recorded anywhere?
For example, does my wife know that I pay £15 per month to play Call of Duty online? Or that I pay £10 to subscribe to an online newspaper? My standing orders, direct debits and subscriptions could cost me thousands every year and if I died, my savings and any inheritance would take a real hit if they weren’t cancelled.
What the average UK person is spending
A report by Zuora showed that the average person in the UK is spending up to £62 per month (equal to £744 per year) on subscriptions like Netflix, Dropbox, Google Drive and other channels. This has tripled in the last year.
A subscription is a digital liability
Subscriptions are big business. The average couch potato (me included) can easily have numerous TV subscriptions alone across BT Sport, Sky Movies, Amazon Prime and Netflix. The video game World of Warcraft alone has one million players in the UK. Then there are online food and cosmetic subscriptions like Graze, Perkbox, Pact and GlossyBox. Rather than the traditional monthly payments of yester-year, we are now lured in the subscription packages.
How to protect your digital liabilities
As part of managing your end of life plans, you should make all your digital liabilities known to your partner or next of kin. List all your monthly standing orders and online subscriptions, including usernames and passwords. It’s even worth doing a walk-through with your partner just to check all your passwords are up to date. Add the list to your Final Fling Safe Deposit Box. Update it regularly.
Stay in control
In the event that you die suddenly, having this simple list will be a lifesaver for your partner or significant others, saving them the hassle of going through old bank statements or trying to figure out what you signed up to.
- Find 20 key documents next of kin will need and make sure they’re all in the Safe Deposit Box.
- See Final Fling’s book Too Busy To Die to keep you right on the 7 simple steps to plan for the end.
- See the site DeadSocial for help with managing your digital end.
Daniel Tannenbaum is the co-founder of Perfect Funeral Plans. Based in London, England, the company is dedicated to helping those plan their financial future and enjoy their life without a financial burden. Daniel is a regular contributor to tech news sites including Huffington Post, TechRound and Business.com . See more about options for paying for a funeral and Final Fling’s flexible funeral plan.