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Planning for Your Digital Afterlife

What happens to all your emails, contacts, calendars, pictures, YouTube files and the rest of your electronic life on Google after you become incapacitated or die? Unless you take steps in advance to protect yourself, and decide whether to grant access to one or more trusted people, the answer may well be that everything will be lost. If you want to consider managing your accounts in advance, with the option of changing things whenever you want, consider activating Inactive Account Manager. Taking a few simple steps can help you prepare for your digital afterlife.

Setting Things up

In the upper right corner of Gmail, click on the down arrow by your Gmail address (or on your profile photo, if you have one loaded), and then click on Account. Click on Data Tools at the top, and scroll down on the left for Inactive Account Manager. Follow the prompts there to make the choices about who will be notified when the account goes inactive, what the period of inactivity will be before the account is deemed inactive, and what pieces of your digital life (all or only bits) each person can access. You can even leave each designated person a message they will see once the period of inactivity you set has been exceeded.

Google will then notify you every 3 months that your Inactive Account Manager is working, and remind you to make any necessary changes. Of course, you can make changes on your own schedule by following the steps you previously took to set up everything in the first place.

Just like a regular Will, taking the steps outlined above will ensure that your digital life and property in your Google account doesn’t disappear when you become incapacitated or die, but instead goes to those whom you choose. Of course, you have the option of deleting your account when it is inactive after a designated period of time, but that is your choice, just like you have the choice as to how to dispose of your other property in your Will.

Serious Lawyers Who Know How to Win

The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto is a full-service law firm and can provide assistance for you with things like wills, will contests, and powers of attorney. Give us a call at (865) 691-2777 or contact us through our website Brown & Roberto, PLLC to set up a free consultation.

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