As more and more of Americans’ time is spent on electronic communication devices, each individual’s online presence has become increasingly significant over time. From social media accounts to digital assets like cryptocurrency, your digital footprint is likely vast and may be valuable. This makes creating a digital estate plan an essential task.
If you haven’t yet created a digital estate plan, it’s time to start. There are a host of reasons why you’ll want to make this effort, including the fact that you likely don’t want “just anyone” interacting with your digital footprint if you’re ever incapacitated or pass away.
The benefits of digital estate planning
Digital assets can be of substantial monetary value. This includes things like online bank accounts, stocks, digital currencies and any online business holdings. Without a clear plan, these assets could be lost or inaccessible to your beneficiaries.
Social media accounts, blogs and personal websites are part of your legacy. Deciding how these should be managed or memorialized in the event of your incapacitation or after your death is important. Without instructions, these accounts could remain active indefinitely, potentially causing distress to loved ones, especially if meaningful pictures and communications can only be accessed via your login.
Digital assets are subject to different laws and regulations than physical assets. A digital estate plan can help ensure that your wishes are carried out in compliance with these laws. And ultimately, in the absence of a digital estate plan, your loved ones may struggle to access or manage your digital assets. Clear instructions and accessible passwords can make the process smoother and less stressful for them during a difficult time.