Royal Wedding…Royal Pain? : A Digital Dilemma

 In Estate Planning

How our “best-laid plans” can fail in our modern world

prince-william-duke-of-cambridge-and-prince-georgeAs the world warmly embraces the new Princess of Cambridge, one can’t help but remember the beautiful royal wedding of her parents just four short years ago.  When Prince William wed Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, it seemed that all of England, and many around the world, watched with wonder and well wishes as the young couple said, “I do.”

So what about this “royal pain”?  It’s certainly not the new Princess or her big brother.  The problem is one for every couple to talk about, and every single person to consider as well.  In our expanding digital age, we can have an online account for nearly everything-from utility bills to car payments to bank accounts and beyond; even the Prince and Duchess are unlikely to have altogether avoided this modern phenomenon.  Potentially more complex are digital assets such as blogs, online businesses or social media accounts.  When we are the only ones who know and possess our usernames and passwords, we have unwittingly created a major obstacle for those left behind.  Even a spouse or parent will not be able to crack the privacy lockdown of most – if not all – online entities.  So how do we plan in such a way as to prevent this hardship for our loved ones AND protect our sensitive information?

The young royals might have this one sorted out, but do you?

A few takeaways to consider:

  • Have you had an Estate Plan executed?
  • Have you re-evaluated your Estate Plan every 5 years and each time you’ve experienced a life change such as marriage, divorce, retirement, etc.?
  • When your Estate Plan was drawn up, did you and your attorney discuss how to handle your digital assets, usernames and passwords?

If you couldn’t answer “Yes” to each of these questions, it’s time to seek counsel.  While this is a complex and developing area of law, your attorney can present the various options available and make sure your estate plan stays current.

 

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