Your house. Your car. Your spouse’s favorite recliner. The dining room table where your son-in-law asked for your daughter’s hand in marriage.
These are all tangible, visible assets. So are the funds in your bank accounts (let’s take the bank’s word that they’re there).
But what about your invisible assets? Those assets that float around the web?
ITunes account. Your life’s history in music, podcasts and books. You want to share it with your children. Of course, they’re not interested…for now.
Uploaded photo account. You spent hour after hour collecting decades-old photos, scanning them into the computer, and uploading them to a restricted photo-sharing website. You’ve now got your family’s photo history all in one place. For your family to cherish, and then supplement with their own photo histories.
Genealogy account. You’ve traced your father’s side back to the Pilgrims, and your mother’s side back to Ellis Island. “Ancient” birth reports, marriage certificates, diplomas, enlistment records. You’ve got them all.
The Cloud. You’re not really sure what’s up there (or how it got there). Even so, it must be important, or it wouldn’t be up there in the first place.
These and similar web-based assets may not have great financial value (though you never know…), but their personal or sentimental value may be priceless.
You may want to pass them on from generation to generation, just like your great grandmother’s candlesticks. Or your Hank Aaron baseball.
You can’t pass on these assets, however, if your heirs don’t know they exist or, if they do, where they are or how to access them.
So get to work. Make a list, with content descriptions, of your web-based assets. Keep it updated. Include each account’s log-in/password. Give the list to a trusted confidant or your FOS attorney.
You’ll be secure in knowing that your son may eventually appreciate your love of Thelonious Monk. And it will give you an excuse to corral the family, listen to Mel Tormé, and look at old pictures of crazy Aunt Phyllis and Fred, your first hamster.