In 2023, my father, a retired attorney, asked me to meet with him to discuss his DIGITAL LIFE before a major cancer-related surgery.
He had an estate plan but he had never thought about what would happen to his online accounts and digital files that included documents, writings, letters, emails, photos, etc. He wanted to quickly ensure that my family could locate and access assets in case something happened to him. So he called me.
I started my career at ABC World News Tonight as their digital library's first hired archivist. I moved to CNN and then transitioned to film and television production. After 10 years, I moved from coordinating and supervising projects to line producing them. A Line Producer is the senior member of the production crew, responsible for hiring all the crew and building and overseeing a project's logistics, schedules and budgets. For 15 years, I produced content all over the world. (I've visited over 100 countries.) During the latter part of my career, I began thinking about career fulfillment and a career change.
Covid arrived. A teacher shortage was created in Los Angeles so I decided to leave Hollywood to become a public school teacher.
Through all my jobs, tech has been the thread. At the age of 13, I took my first programming class on a PDP-11 computer. One year later, I was programming on an Apple II computer at my school. I became my family's "go-to" IT person. At one time, I founded a tech consulting business and an eCommerce company called GiftDay.com.
Archiving, producing and educating, with tech as my tool-in-the-trade, led me to start Digital Life Advisors.
I was built to help my father with his digital estate. We scheduled a time to meet for 30 minutes. To our surprise, the meeting lasted more than 4 hours. Together, we uncovered online accounts with funds he had forgotten about, a treasure-trove of photographs buried in an online site he no longer used and loyalty points which he would not have been able to transfer had he died. Finally, his password organizing system and his computer and online security plan for the above assets needed an overhaul.
My father's surgery was successful. We now talk weekly about his digital assets and his digital legacy. He began mentioning to his friends how I could helped locate, organize and secure digital assets to create a digital estate. I can proudly say that my father is DLA's first client. I expect to work with him for many more years.
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