In March, we discussed estate planning for digital assets. Ohio readers may recall us writing that 600,000 people will die this year with active Facebook accounts. However, few people have taken the time to determine what will happen to their online accounts.

Google just announced that they have created a tool that allows people to dictate what should happen to their Google accounts when they die. The Inactive Account Manager lets people decide if their accounts should be shared with family or friends or simply deleted.

The service is triggered after an account has been inactive for a certain period of time. That time period is previously determined by the account user.

“Not many of us like thinking about death – especially our own. But making plans for what happens after you’re gone is really important for the people you leave behind,” a Google spokesperson said.

With Google’s launch of the Inactive Account Manager, other companies might put similar systems in place. Because so much important information lives online, it may become necessary for all companies to have systems in place that allow users to determine what should happen to their accounts when they die.

People may not realize how important it is to make advanced plans for important accounts and assets. However, surviving family members are the ones who benefit the most when a loved one has taken the time to make their wishes known.

Families who do face issues after a loved one has died do not have to deal with them alone. An attorney experienced in probate litigation may prove to be highly beneficial.

Source: Fox Business, “Google Lets You Decide What Happens to Your Data After Death,” Kate Rogers, April 12, 2013

· Our firm works with people who are facing probate issues. Please visit our website to learn more.