Millennials are the first to consider social media and other virtual assets in their estate planning. Digital assets like social media are an entirely new legal landscape. Legal experts recommend updating your estate plan at least every five years unless you have a major life change. Now, experts may have to start recommending you include your digital assets and social media in your estate plan. Why are millennials including social media in their estate planning?
You have your will in place, you have trusts for the kids, you have named beneficiaries at the bank, and everything is in order except your digital life. About 53% of the world’s population uses social media, and many still need a plan in place should they pass away. What would happen to your digital assets like online bank accounts, investments, and, yes, social media accounts if you passed away unexpectedly? How would your partner or your kids be able to access those things? There is value in your social media accounts in the form of memories. Pictures that you have posted may only be available here. Planning for the future should include planning for your digital life.
If you are a small business owner and use social media for marketing purposes, and you should, then marketing is precious to your business. If you want your business to continue, you must make plans for social media. You worked hard to build a following, and that following should continue even when you are no longer here. Someone needs to take over your social media for your business to continue. How much did it cost you to build your following on social media for your business? If you don’t have social media in your estate plan, your heirs will be locked out, and the time and money investment will be lost.
About 80% of all people currently going through the process of marriage are millennials. Many millennials choose their partners to run their social media accounts and inherit their other digital assets. You will need to name someone you trust to access your social media when you’re no longer here. Including your social media in your estate planning ensures that the person you name can access your social media and other digital assets with full legal protection. Be sure to choose someone you trust.
Make a list of all your social media accounts, including usernames and passwords. Take inventory of all digital assets and write down the login and other pertinent information. You may be surprised when you take inventory that you have much more to protect than you thought. Remember to write down social media accounts you rarely use, like your old Twitter account from college. After you have your list to ensure everything is legal, you should contact an estate planning attorney. Including digital assets in estate planning is a relatively new idea, however, it’s something everyone should consider. Be sure to ask the attorney if they have any legal experience regarding including digital assets in an estate plan.
Millennials are including digital assets and social media in their estate plans because it makes sense. Digital assets and social media can both be very valuable. If you still need to include your digital assets in your estate planning, do it, don’t wait. An estate plan provides legal protection, which everyone should have. Speak to an attorney today about creating an estate plan that includes coverage for digital assets.