A study by Forbes says Boomers who use the internet have an average of 4.6 social media accounts. Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most popular platforms, and 82% of people use at least one. Did you know just over 20 years ago, only 7% of people around the globe were online? Currently, greater than 5 billion people around the world have internet access which is almost 63% of the world’s population.
We are living in a time where a single day does not go by without the use of social media accounts. It has become a necessity to have a Digital legacy plan for all the Digital assets we possess.
“Baby boomers,” often called boomers, are the people born between 1947-1964. They are a generation that witnessed the evolution of technology and digital platforms of the 21st century. Though the younger generation consumes more internet, a Digital legacy plan for baby boomers is necessary as they will be the first generation to leave a massive digital footprint.
A Digital legacy plan will help boomers to protect and pass down all their digital assets in the right hands, as they often possess emotional and monetary values. Here is a step-by-step guide for you to understand how digital legacy planning works.
Explaining digital legacy plan
We make an estate plan for all the physical assets we have acquired in our life. Likewise, we possess digital assets such as emails, personal blogs, online seller and buyer accounts like Amazon and eBay, online financial accounts, and many more. These assets either have monetary value or emotional attachments.
Upon our demise, there is no way of confirming how and who might handle our digital assets. Having a digital legacy plan will ensure a smooth transition of your digital assets. It will provide your next kin with the opportunity to carry out your closing wish on how to handle your social presence.
Even though boomers are on the lesser side of internet consumption, they have a fair share of digital footprint. It is critical to ensure that all information on their digital assets is responsibly taken care of when you are no longer present. Sound understanding of your digital assets is crucial while legacy planning.
What are the digital assets we possess?
Refer to the following list while executing your digital legacy planning to understand all your digital assets.
- Social Media Accounts
We are all connected to social media accounts, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. Even the older generations are not an exception to it. They carry so many emotional attachments for us.
- Email Accounts
Our Email accounts, such as Yahoo, Gmail, or Outlook, are digital assets. You can pass guidelines on whether to forward, copy, delete or archive emails upon your demise.
- Personal Blogs, Websites, Digital Journals
Even older generations might have blogging accounts and personal websites. You can either memorialize your blogs or expire them. Consider including these digital assets in your digital legacy planning.
- Photos, Videos, Music, Subscribed Streaming Sites, Cloud Service
All your precious photos and videos are digital assets. Your digital assets include all streaming sites you have a subscription to for media consumption and even cloud services to store photos, music, videos, and documents.
- Online Financial Accounts and Services
Even boomers are no strangers to online financial transaction services like Paypal. It is crucial to include them in your digital legacy plan to ensure they are passed down smoothly to your family and loved ones.
- Digital Devices
We possess digital devices like laptops, iPads, smartphones, and desktops to access digital content and the internet. Are they password-protected? Who will have access to your digital devices? Include every detail in your legacy plan to prevent misuse of your digital devices when you pass away.
Now that we have some clarity on digital legacy planning, what are the steps to follow to create a legacy plan for baby boomers?
Steps for creating digital legacy plan for baby boomers
1. Make a list of digital assets
Hidden, silently, baby boomers have taken a hitch to the ride of the Digital era. They have a significant digital presence than the eyes meet. A study by Colorado university revealed that baby boomers spend almost 27 hours on average per week on the internet, which is even more than millennials.
Safe to say boomers have a long list of digital assets, from social media accounts to downloaded apps and digital devices. It is important to recall and make a checklist of all the digital assets you wish to include in your digital legacy plan.
2. Go through all Digital Legacy Policies
Unlike before, Apple now has a policy that allows you the option to appoint a legacy contact who can have access to your apple device and account upon your death. Google and Facebook have similar policies which allow you to choose what happens to your account upon your demise.
Make sure to go through all the legacy policies of digital assets you possess. It will help you plan your digital legacy better. You can include specific instructions on how your next kin should handle your digital assets.
3. Appoint a Digital Executor for your Digital Assets
An executor is an individual you appoint to fulfill your final wishes. Make sure it’s someone you can believe in and maintain objectivity, as this role carries a lot of responsibilities.
You can choose someone near and dear to you as your digital executor. Although, if you don’t want certain digital assets, such as your social media accounts, by your family, you can appoint a friend as an executor for your social media accounts.
4. Decide what happens to your Digital Assets after your demise
Boomers can possess a wide range of digital assets. Some assets may carry monetary value, while others carry invaluable sentimental attachments. What happens to digital assets like Netflix, which has monthly subscriptions, after they pass away? What happens to all digital pictures with emotional values?
The crucial point to making a digital legacy plan is to lessen the burden on your grieving family members. A precise set of instructions will save them from having a hard time deciding how they should handle your digital assets.
5. Legalize your Digital Assets
Legalize your digital assets by aligning your digital legacy plan with state laws. You can consult a lawyer about how you can legalize your digital assets. You can also avail help from various online services that abide by state laws to plan your digital legacy.
Importance of Digital legacy plan for baby boomers
It is wise to devise a strategy and decide for yourself what will become of your online accounts. When you pass away, deactivating your online accounts can prevent their misuse. When your loved ones understand your digital assets and what you want to be done with them, managing them becomes simple.
Baby boomers witnessed the world in a new light with technological evolution. They have kept pace with digital social platforms and services. As a boomer, you may have a significant digital legacy to leave behind. They might even be of value to future generations.
What to do with your social media accounts? Did you have any subscriptions to online services? Who can use your laptop? All these questions can bring your family so much confusion after your demise. Detailed digital legacy planning can save them from all that hardship.
It is safe to say boomers have crawled their way into the digital evolution and have kept up with it. They are sure to leave behind an unforgettable digital legacy. However, as we are adjusting to digital infiltration in our lives, it is also essential to protect all our digital assets with legacy planning.
For example, the requirement to cancel any memberships to services, such as those to websites like Amazon and Netflix, when you are no longer present—choosing who is close enough to access your digital devices. Giving your loved ones a clear digital legacy plan gives you peace of mind and spares them from coping with challenging responsibilities during a troubling time.
We at Clocr provide you with services like Social Media Will, Digital Vault, emergency cards, and much more. Get a digital legacy plan for your social media accounts with our service of Social Media Will. Our services, such as Digital Vault and Digital Estate, will help you to protect your digital assets and let your wishes known to your next kin. Join Clocr today to leave behind an unforgettable digital legacy.