Chapter 1. Introducing the Digital Afterlife

Email, photos, videos, Facebook accounts—they’re the elements of your new digital life. In fact, almost without realizing it, we have shifted toward an all-digital culture. Future heirlooms like family photos, home movies, and personal letters are now created and stored in digital form. And increasingly they’re stored online at popular sites that might not be accessible to your loved ones after you pass away.

But in the mad rush to embrace the digital lifestyle, you may have neglected to ask:

“What happens to my digital stuff when I die?”

It’s an important question. Unfortunately there’s not a definite, clear, or simple answer. It’s easy to assume that your digital possessions will always be there, ...

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