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IBM Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Jennifer Gill, Betty Zakheim, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

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Planned Departure Now Allows Users to Will Their Digital Assets to Charities

LONDON, February 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Bequeathing social media profiles offers a new way to stimulate charitable donations

Planned Departure Limited, an award-winning London startup that offers secure digital estate planning, now provides users the option to pass on their social media assets to any organisation that they specify.

The question of what to do with digital assets has recently developed into a serious concern, as loved ones try to deal with scattered and inaccessible online identities of family members who have passed away. The U.S. government recently noted on its official website that people need to make plans for their digital legacies and "Write a Social Media Will." Planned Departure Ltd. of London is the first company to step in and offer this service, through their new digital vault program, which allows people to control exactly what will happen to their digital assets and identities after they pass away. Furthermore, Planned Departure provides the option of naming different recipients for specific accounts and profiles, so that personal information is distributed according to the wishes of the person who passed away.

"Digital Assets are becoming increasingly powerful," states Planned Departure's co-founder and CEO, Komal Joshi. "They have real financial value associated with them. While items such as e-wallets, BitCoins and popular domain names may have direct financial worth, a Twitter account with a lot of followers or a popular Facebook account is actually a valuable marketing platform. Planned Departure makes it possible to donate these valuable accounts to designated charities now."

The new service will enable members to designate a charity as the recipient of any type of digital inheritance, including social media assets. These assets often consist of hundreds of personal contacts that the individual invested many hours establishing and nurturing. Leaving digital assets to charities that they believe in gives users the reassurance that all their invested time will have a real value in the future, after they have passed away. As Planned Departure co-founder and CTO Anand Ramdeo points out,"Your friends and loved ones will be moved to donate to a cause you care about, as a means of honouring your memory."

As people store more and more of their crucial personal information online, the need for secure distribution of these multiple access nodes after death has become critical. Time Magazine reports that the identities of 2.5 million deceased people in the United States are stolen every year, creating legal headaches for their heirs.

Furthermore, there are heartbreaking stories published frequently about family members who have been blocked from seeing or retrieving important photos, videos or last words of deceased loved ones. Social media platforms routinely lock down the account of someone who has died, unless that person has left specific written instructions and account access information in a retrievable format. Since traditional wills are not kept up to date on current log-in information, a securely maintained digital vault such as Planned Departure fills an urgent need.

About Planned Departure
Planned Departure has received considerable attention since it was formed by Anand Ramdeo, a technologist who has worked for IBM Rational, Amazon etc. and Komal Joshi a London Business School EMBA student. Chosen by the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to receive its 2013 Founders Award, Planned Departure was also selected for the London Business School Incubator program. The company offers bank level security with AES 256-bit encryption and Norton-certified SSL protection for all information retained in its electronic vault. Trusted verifiers chosen by the account owner are contacted in person to verify death before any assets are distributed, and Planned Departure can also work in conjunction with attorneys, elder-care services and estate executors.


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