When you think of daily habits today compared to a decade ago, the change is dazzling. We regularly log in, share, download, and communicate from devices that fit in our pocket. So how does this affect your estate plans?
Think of all of the accounts you have, the rewards you earn, and the transactions you make. Have you thought about how your digital comings and goings will be handled once you’re gone? Here are a few things to think about as you plan ahead.
Your Email Account
Despite the relative user-friendliness of today’s email platforms, accessing a deceased individual’s inbox can be challenging. Depending on the company or provider, it may be necessary to go through a lengthy process that includes submitting various forms of government ID and copies of the death certificate.
On the one hand, it can be reassuring to know that your personal correspondence is being protected. On the other hand, your loved ones may need to access your email to make cancellations, get information, close the account, and so on.
Your Social Media
For a lot of people, social media plays an integral part of life. Have you ever considered how you want to engage with it after death? Many social media platforms have recognized a need to address deceased user's accounts and have begun offering several options. Facebook, for instance, provides a memorialization feature that can be applied for with the right supporting documentation. Instagram also fields requests to memorialize users who have passed away.
From LinkedIn to YouTube to dating apps and video platforms, every company handles death differently which can be challenging for loved ones, friends, and executors.
Your Rewards Programs
Whether you’re a casual collector or have been stockpiling travel points for decades, addressing perks, points, and programs after death is important but often overlooked. How can you ensure that the right people access your account? How do you prevent hard-earned rewards from going to waste?
For some people, bequeathing points is a part of the estate plan. Others choose to donate their rewards to a charity or organization. Whichever decision you make, it is important to share it before it’s too late.
Part of preparing for the future includes ensuring that you take inventory of your digital presence and planning accordingly. Depending on your level of comfort, you may want to share your login information with a loved one or include it in your will. To ensure that your rewards are protected and distributed to the right beneficiary, it is critical to make it a part of your will, as you would with any other asset.
While it may be difficult to think of your own mortality, the peace of mind that comes with being prepared is significant.