Planning for the future is for all generations. While many equate estate planning for something completed later in life, the reality is that the process is for everyone and can occur at any age or stage in life. However, depending on your phase in life, you might be more compelled to create or update an estate plan.
When it comes to millennials, it is not just their assets and property that needs protection. Being deemed as the first digital generation, many are concerned about what will happen to their digital footprint. In other words, millennials are becoming more and more focused on creating a digital plan for their social media accounts.
When put in perspective, social media has been a staple in a millennial’s life since Facebook was created in 2004. This means that there is nearly 20 years of information, pictures and videos in the digital world. Thus, designating a person to control their social media is becoming an important topic of discussion during estate planning.
Based on current trends, roughly three-quarters of millennials name a digital executor when creating an estate plan. Because they do not want their heirs to decide whether they would want something digital to be left as is or deleted, they take the guess work out of it by indicating what should be done with all of their digital property and social media accounts.
A recent survey discovered that millennials are 29% more likely than the older generations to have digital communications, such as emails, direct messages and texts, to be kept private from their loved ones following their death. Additionally, 40% indicate that they want all social media accounts to be deleted in comparison to 20% that want them to be memorialized or preserved. The remaining 40% insist that they do not care what happens to their accounts after death.
The estate planning process can be complex and all-inclusive. In some cases, certain property can be overlooked. Because it is a growing trend to address digital property in estate plans, it is important to consider what you would like to happen with your digital property and social media accounts. A legal professional can help you understand your options and better navigate this and other estate planning issues.