Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Elderly

Happy, smiling couple in their sixties.

How estate planning can protect your digital legacy

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Estate Planning

In this digital age, young adults have leveraged their online presence to create work and advocate for the values they believe in. If you are a content creator or artist, your online presence is likely already an integral part of your identity. Your digital footprint is a valuable asset, and it is essential to consider what will happen to it when you pass away. Estate planning is not just about physical assets; it also includes your digital legacy.

What is a digital legacy?

Your digital legacy includes all your online accounts, such as social media profiles, email accounts and websites. It also encompasses digital assets like photos, videos, music and writing. According to a 2023 survey by the Pew Research Center, 74% of young adults online use at least five social media platforms. This means that most people have a significant digital presence that they need to consider in estate planning.

Why is estate planning important for digital assets?

Without proper planning, your digital legacy can be lost, deleted or even exploited after your passing. For instance, if you have a popular social media account, someone may try to impersonate you or use your account for malicious purposes. By including your digital assets in your estate plan, you can protect your online presence and manage it according to your wishes.

How can estate planning protect your digital legacy?

In New York, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA) allows you to grant your executor or agent access to your digital assets after your passing. This means that you can appoint someone to manage your online presence, preserve your digital assets or close your accounts.

Here are three steps to protect your digital legacy:

  • Compile an inventory of your digital assets and accounts
  • Appoint a digital executor or agent in your will
  • Create a digital legacy plan, including instructions for managing your online presence

Finalize your will and ensure that it meets all legal requirements to make it valid. Consider seeking the assistance of an estate planning lawyer to efficiently manage this process and prevent complications in the future.

In this fast-changing digital landscape, protecting your digital legacy is no longer an option but a necessity. By incorporating your digital assets into your estate plan, you can ensure that your virtual presence continues to reflect your values and beliefs even when you are no longer around.