How to Prepare a Digital Estate Plan for Future Caregivers

Future Caregivers Digital Estate Plan

A Digital Estate Plan exclusively crafted to handle or manage your Digital Assets can help save your loved one’s time, especially in their tough times. 

A Digital Estate Plan for Future Caregivers involves planning for your Digital Assets and leaving instructions as to what must happen to your online accounts in case of incapacitation. This allows your future caregivers and family members to not only legally access your Digital Assets, but also handle or manage them the way you want them to. 

Why does planning for your Digital Assets matter?

Digital Assets are defined as anything that we own on the internet or in electronic form. This comprises your social media profiles, videos, photos and music stored online, documents stored in cloud, online gaming profiles, online shopping and magazine subscription accounts, online entertainment accounts such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Netflix and many more. 

Have you wondered what happens to these assets after you’re gone? Who will manage these accounts if you are incapacitated or no longer alive? If you live in the US, you might be aware of the RUFADAA Act. The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Asset Act (RUFADAA) makes arrangements for an estate executor, guardian, power of attorney or trustee to gain access to a deceased user’s Digital Assets. 

Though many states have passed the law that governs the transfer of Digital Assets, it is always better to create a Digital Estate Plan for your Digital Assets and leave clear-cut instructions on what should happen to each of your Online Accounts. You can also make use of the legacy policies of certain Online Accounts such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and leave instructions to your Digital Executors as to how they must handle these accounts.

How to prepare a Digital Estate Plan?

  • Make a list of all the Digital Assets you own. This includes a list of online accounts and the devices used to access these accounts. List down usernames and any other important account information. If you are worried about including passwords in your Digital Estate Plan, make use of a Password Manager and leave instructions for your Digital Executor to access the Password Manager.

  • Leave instructions as to what must happen to these Digital Assets after you’re gone or incapacitated. Let your Digital Executor know which accounts to memorialize, which to delete and which subscriptions to cancel.

  • Appoint a Digital Executor to handle your Digital Assets. A Digital Executor is someone who is usually tech savvy and knows their way through social media and other online accounts. Appointing someone who is tech savvy can be beneficial as you would want someone who is well-versed with these accounts so that your final wishes are fulfilled.

  • Talk to your attorney and make your Digital Estate Plan legally valid.

How does it help future caregivers?

By creating a Digital Estate Plan:

  • Your future caregivers or loved ones need not comb through your electronic devices in order to find all the online accounts you created so far
  • Your future caregivers or loved ones will not be in dilemma as to what to do with your online accounts – you would have already provided instructions to them via a Digital Estate Plan
  • Your Digital Accounts are guaranteed to be in trusted hands and will be managed forever. 
  • Avoid identity theft and fraud

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