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Things to Remember When Planning Your Legacy

By Jeff Cummings & Carly Peters

When estate planning, it’s easy to overlook some of the more important things. Namely, your digital presence and funeral pre-planning. We will guide you through the steps to ensure that it’s taken care of efficiently.

DON’T FORGET DIGITAL

Many assets now live in the cloud: virtual currencies, online investments and digital goods. Be sure to account for them in your will or memorandum.

Social media: Provide detailed instructions about who can access the accounts and how you want them handled. Don’t forget to supply a list of usernames and passwords. Twitter requires proof of death to delete an account. So, review each platform’s policies regarding how accounts are accessed after death. Facebook lets you set up a pre-selected “legacy contact” to manage accounts.

Loyalty programs and rewards points: If you wish to include points as part of your will or memorandum, carefully review the relevant terms and conditions. Every program has different rules when it comes to transferring points upon the death of an account holder.

Digital collections: Unlike your physical copy of Catcher in the Rye or vinyl Beatles albums, you don’t actually purchase the content on digital platforms. Under most company’s terms of service, you buy a licence to use it. These licences don’t give you the right to transfer content to someone else. You do, however, have the right to give devices containing digital content, and pass along account usernames and passwords .

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PLANNING A LIFETIME IN A DAY

We can’t talk estate planning without mentioning your final celebration. Pre-planning your funeral not only gives you a say in the service you want, it takes the burden off your loved ones.

“When we meet with a family, we focus on the person’s needs, answer their questions and explain the options,” says Don Murdock, pre-planning manager for Dignity Memorial in Edmonton and Calgary. “We guide the family to ensure their life is remembered and celebrated the way they want.”

Arrangements can be as unique as you are. “It’s not a day in a lifetime,” Murdock muses, “it’s a lifetime in a day.” Pre-planning also makes financial sense, freezing the cost of services at today’s prices.

For families who aren’t quite ready to sit down for a full discussion, the company offers online pre-planning seminars. To learn more or sign up, visit dignitymemorial.com.

AMA members save 10% on pre-arranged and at-need services with Dignity Memorial.

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