The statistics surrounding estate planning are fairly well known. About half of all people don’t have any estate plan in place, and those that do are more likely to be seniors or older adults. For young adults, the question of estate planning is rarely a question, and digital estate planning even less so. However, younger adults are in a greater need of digital estate planning than most others. Here are three reasons why.
Reason 1: You live your life online. The younger you are, the more likely it is that you have a significant number of digital assets. Facebook? Sure. PayPal or online bank accounts? Probably. Thousands of pictures on your laptop? Yup. But who takes over these things if you get sick? Who gets them if you die? If you need a bill paid while in the hospital, how will you know that someone will be able to do so or even know these bills exist?
Reason 2: The law hasn’t caught up with you. Laws are rarely prescient, and typically lawmakers create new legislation only once a problem is already in place. Compound this with most lawmakers being of an older demographic and you see why there are few laws that directly address digital estate planning. For example, only Nevada currently allows for a digital-only Last Will and Testament, while other states all require hard-copy Wills.
Reason 3: It will only get bigger. The Internet isn’t going anywhere so you will most likely sign up for more accounts, have more pictures, more payments, etc., so you will need to have a plan in place for these digital items if something were to happen.