Digital Photographs – What happens to them after death?

I love looking at old pictures. Pictures from my childhood, pictures from my parent’s marriage, portraits of my grand-parents and college days of my uncle and aunts – everything. These pictures are probably the strongest connection I have with my …


I love looking at old pictures. Pictures from my childhood, pictures from my parent’s marriage, portraits of my grand-parents and college days of my uncle and aunts – everything. These pictures are probably the strongest connection I have with my past. It’s difficult to explain why, but I can spend hours looking at those pictures and talk about pictures from my childhood, school functions, family functions or a trip with family or friends. I guess value of these photographs increases with time. Some of these photographs have become extremely precious to me because of people or stories involved with those pictures.

Till few years back, all these photographs were stored in the physical format in my trunk. A photo album and negative camera roll stored in the trunk was easy to find, inherit and cherish. It was easy, but risky. It was (and still it) risky because fire, flood, theft, earthquake, moisture or an angry kid could ruin it all. So because of the fear of loosing these photographs, I started converting them from physical to digital format. From a trunk sitting in the corner of my old house, these photographs in digital format were at all over the places. They were on my hard-disk, compact disk and on cloud based services such as Flickr, Picasa, photobucket and so on. Pictures stored on these services are permanent, there is no accidental damages and can be shared easily with friends and family. All good, isn’t it?

Well almost, unfortunately it is a bit more riskier in one crucial aspect. One of the main problem with these services is – how do people inherit photographs stored in these services if something happens to me? Accounts in these services cannot be accessed by anyone else so what happens to these photographs if I pass away suddenly? I have shared my account details with my wife – but deep in my heart I know how uncertain life is. It is very much possible to loose all the photographs. Is this risk worth taking? Noep, isn’t it?  

I wanted to ensure that these photographs are not lost and my next generation and their next generation have access to these photographs. It might help them understand their roots, family values, custom and culture. 

When we started Planned Departure, this was one of the problem we wanted to solve. Planned Departure is an electronic vault to store digital assets or information in the digital format. For every digital asset, it allows users to specify beneficiaries for that particular digital asset. 

I am at peace now – I have stored few photographs as digital assets and assigned them to my friends and families. Not only that, I have stored my account details and specified few close people as beneficiaries for that information. I know if something happens to me, this information will be in the right hand and my photographs will not be lost in the cloud.


Author: Planned Departure

Living and working in this digital era, our social media accounts – from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr to the likes of Pinterest – are increasing not only in number but also in volume. Additionally, many of us have domain names registered and libraries of movies, digital music and e-Books that can be of significant value. And let's not forget about Bitcoin and other virtual currencies! For the majority of us, these accounts and digital assets are likely to outlive us. And when we die, it is left up to family members and estate executors to sift through them all. Furthermore, even though they may have all the required passwords necessary for these accounts, many heirs will discover that they have no clear authority to access, or even to manage, the online accounts of their deceased loved ones. With the value of individuals' digital assets globally measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, planning for the protection of our digital assets has moved to centre stage. It is essential that our online and social media accounts are included as part of the estate planning process. Failure to do so may not only deprive those we leave behind of fond memories and (possibly) a little nest egg, it could also leave us vulnerable to postmortem identity theft if fraudsters get to use our personal details to apply for credit facilities whilst our accounts remain unguarded. Planned Departure resolves these issues. We provide you with the ability not only to protect your digital assets, but also to clearly indicate who can access your online accounts and who should benefit from them. Create piece of mind today by registering with us in one quick and easy process.

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