The Importance of a Digital Estate Plan
As elder law attorneys we advise our clients every day of the importance of planning ahead. A properly drafted Estate Plan covers all the bases for the management and distribution of your estate in the event you become incapacitated and after your death.
But these days, our lives are not only lived in the tangible world. Most of us rely heavily on the digital world to manage our affairs. Between social media accounts, paying bills online, digital subscriptions, and the countless passwords we keep for access to a multitude of digital services, our digital self comprises a substantial amount of assets to protect as well. Now that you are thinking about it I bet you feel an immense amount of urgency to protect those digital holdings in the event something unfortunate were to happen to you. The official name for this is a Digital Estate Plan and there are a few ways in which you can set one up.
Subscription-based services, such as Everplans, provide resources and guides you through setting up your Digital Estate Plan on their secure storage platform. They have even released a new book clearly outlining the steps you need to take to organize your life now so your loved ones won't have to scramble later. In their recent article "Why You Need a Digital Estate Plan and How to Make One" they offer up expert advice on how to handle creating legacy accounts with the tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
If you don't want to invest in a subscription, there are conventional ways in which you can still create a Digital Estate Plan. Purchasing a password manager is a great way to start. This device is a digital safe for all your passwords and account information. Once you've input all your data you only need to remember one password to access all of your accounts. If this still seems too high-tech, then the traditional pen and paper method is the way to go.
While the initial effort to get your online life in order may be daunting, the process of organizing it can be very liberating. Just think of how many times in the past year you've had to reset a password because it was forgotten. Having all aspects of your digital world organized can and will save you and your loved ones headaches down the road.
Just remember once you have completed the task of creating a Digital Estate Plan, you must keep it in a safe place and share its location and your instructions with the trusted executor of your estate.
For more information about how to set up an estate plan or to schedule a free consultation, contact our Long Island elder law firm at (631) 424-2800 or visit our contact page.