In today’s society, not only are individuals amassing vast digital assets, but they are also increasingly present on social media.  More than ever, when planning your estate it is important to consider what happens to digital assets and your social presence when you pass away.  The importance of these questions have been addressed prior on Hull & Hull LLP’s Toronto Estate Law Blog, here, here, and here.

As succession law in Ontario does not provide a complete solution, individual corporations are beginning to take matters into their own hands.  Yahoo Japan is one such example.

Yahoo has created Yahoo Ending, in order to address end of life preparations known to the Japanese as ‘Shukatsu’.

According to an article in the Washington Post, this service allows the deactivation of a user’s account after their death, in addition to offering the deletion of documents, photos, and videos stored on the site, as well as automatically cancelling charges linked to Yahoo’s digital wallet.  Furthermore, a virtual memorial space can be created along with an e-mail prepared by the deceased to be sent upon their death to preregistered recipients.

Interestingly, Yahoo Ending can also assist in estimating the cost of a funeral, locating a cemetery, and even the preparation of a Will.

Users of Yahoo Ending are charged a monthly fee.

Individuals must consider the size of their digital footprint and the many accounts they may currently have open.  It is important to meet with professionals and estate planners to ensure your digital assets and social media accounts are properly considered, and planned for, in your Estate.

Noah Weisberg