My digital legacy

What happens to my digital legacy after my death?​

Those who die today usually leave behind a vast and personal digital legacy on smartphones, on hard drives, or in clouds. Photos, videos, voice messages, e-mails, chats, or social media accounts document everyday and private spheres of life.

Personal digital data can hold valuable memories for family and friends, provided they have access to them. But the data can also contain sensitive information that the deceased does not want to share or that is a burden for the bereaved. It is therefore helpful for bereaved relatives to know about the wishes of the deceased regarding how their data should be handled.

Three publications may help in managing the digital legacy:

1) The password sheets are a stimulus and an opportunity to note your wishes about your digital legacy. They are an alternative and supplement to the printed brochure of the same content, which was published as part of the exhibition MEMENTO – In the Force Field of Memories at the Museum of Sepulchralculture, Kassel (

2) The Estate planning guide for digital data, published at Bestattungskultur, may further help you prepare your own digital legacy and advocates for integrating precaution as a lived practice into everyday digital life.

3) The Digital Legacy Checklist, published in German at Die Chance, is a detailed checklist that illustrates point by point how to prepare one’s own digital legacy or what steps to take when inheriting a digital legacy.


Explanation of the password sheets

Designed by Lorenz Widmaier.