KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Talking about death is not an easy discussion to have, but the topic of what will happen to your possessions when you pass away is a necessary one.
You've probably thought about what will happen to your car or your home. Have you ever thought about what will happen to your Facebook or email accounts?
"When I first started practicing, I was used to dealing with real property: a house, stocks and bank accounts. Digital assets, which are electronic, like pictures posted on Facebook or tweets on Twitter are very much a part of our society now and commonplace," said Donald Farinato, an attorney with Hodges, Doughty & Carson in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Farinato said whenever he talks to clients, he brings up digital assets. Some tell him they aren't interested in planning for it, while others say they are.
Farinato said he heard sad stories nationwide about parents who lose a child and then are not able to gain access to their child's online accounts, like Facebook, in order to get pictures and memories.
In Tennessee, there is the Tennessee Revised Uniform Fiduciary Act which is a Digital Access Act. Farinato said it allows people to designate those who can handle their digital assets upon death or incapacity.
Farinato separates digital assets into three groups: practical, sentimental and valuable assets.
"There are people that have a website for a hobby that appears to have no value, but there are advertisers that want to get on there and there's traffic. So, something that was a hobby can really have a value and unless that's planned for that digital asset can be lost," he said.
Farinato encourages people to plan ahead when dealing with their digital assets.
"As tough as it is to do, it's worth it. They're like preventative maintenance on your car. It's no fun to pay for the breaks or the services but when you don't break down and can keep moving down the road, it's worth it," he said.
Some online services actually offer some sort of death planning. For example, Facebook has a 'legacy contact' option. You can choose someone to look after your account should you die .It can be set up in the "Settings" tab underneath "Security."