Like a traditional executor, this individual is responsible for settling your estate and assets but in this case, they are all digital assets. While not all countries and states recognize a digital executor as an official designation, it is still a very important role in one's estate planning. You should still designate someone to handle your digital assets, whether it is the same person as your executor of your traditional estate or it is a different individual, someone needs to handle these assets after you pass.
Keep in mind that a digital executor should understand the technology and how to manage digital accounts very well. This person may be handling a variety of different hardware from computers and cell phones to external hard drives and tablets. This person should feel confident using these digital devices and following instructions for what to do with each device, such as, wiping the data on the device or recovering files from each device.
Also, be sure your executor is familiar and comfortable with the various accounts that they will be managing. You may even want to consider multiple digital executors to handle different types of accounts. For highly specialized accounts, like for cryptocurrency, you will need someone who understands this type of account very well or you will have to leave very detailed instructions for someone you trust well. The account that a digital executor will be settling can be anything from email accounts to online banking accounts. Since you will have accounts that have some value to them, select someone you can trust.
A digital executor will also be in charge of archiving personal files, photos, videos, and other content you've created. They may have to delete files or accounts and pull information or files from particular accounts. They may have to pay any final fees or bills through these accounts and transfer money or valuable assets to your heirs. Finally, they will be the one who notifies your online communities and friends of your passing.
The role of a digital executor continues to be a growing role as we continue to live so much of our lives online. This role will be equally as important as your traditional executor’s role in settling your estate. Considering all your various accounts and needs when you decide on a digital executor is so important, as this person will be juggling a variety of accounts. It is vital that you name a digital executor in your Will to ensure your designated individual will be the one who ensures your wishes are carried out.