The Guardian Association of Pinellas County urges seniors to make a plan for digital assets to prevent major hurdles for family and caregivers.
Largo, FL (November, 4 2015) – According to the Pew Research Center for Internet, Science and Tech Research, more than half of all American seniors (65 and older) are internet users. And Seniors aged 65 and over represent one of the fastest growing age groups to use social media, according to the Stanford Center on Longevity. With this new trend emerging, it is more important than ever for seniors to make a digital asset plan.
The Guardian Association of Pinellas County is launching a campaign to help seniors and caregivers navigate this newly charted territory. Like any effective end of life plan, making it easy for family to locate and manage your assets is key. Far too often seniors leave plans that do not include passwords, leaving behind a cyberspace labyrinth of information for family and caregivers to decipher.
Some things to consider are internet banking, Paypal, EBay, Amazon, and ITunes. As well as social media sites that contain pictures, memories and/or contacts such as FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube. In addition, music and video storage sites and genealogy sites such as Ancestry.com as well as email accounts including contacts.
What can you do now to protect your digital estate?
1. Create a list of all your on-line accounts and other digital properties and how to find them,
2. Create a list of the passwords and answers to “secret questions”,
3. Keep the lists up to date and store them on an encrypted electronic list. Consider tools such as 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass, LastPass, or Roboform.
4. Store the list in a safe place along with the master password that is needed to access the encrypted data,
5. Consider using a web-based service that allows designated fiduciaries or family members access such as AfterSteps, Assets in Order, BestBequest, Deathswitch, Estate Map, E-Z-Safe, SecureSafe.
6. Contact your estate planning attorney and ask that plans for your digital property be included in your estate plan. Be sure to include your wishes about your property and who will be appointed as the fiduciary to act on your behalf in regard to these assets. This person, and your wishes, should also be specifically named in any powers of attorney or trust documents. Planning now for your digital property is essential to allow for full access to your data, to keep estate administration costs down and to ensure that none of your valuable digital legacy is overlooked or lost.
About The Guardian Association of Pinellas County, Inc.: The mission of the Guardian Association of Pinellas County (GAPC) is to educate and advocate on behalf of those living in an around Pinellas County, Florida who can no longer voice for themselves for reasons such as advanced age, mental or physical incapability. GAPC aims to promote the welfare and quality of service for such individuals by promoting the development and improvement of the capabilities of guardians through educational programs, lectures, discussions, and other various methods of instruction.
Guardians provide ethical, professional, dedicated and compassionate care for the voiceless all while understanding that no two individuals or situations are alike. As GAPC grows, we will continue to set the standard in guardian education and advocacy in the state and the nation.
Membership is open to all individuals or groups that work closely with the elderly or have an interest in the guardianship process. An elected Board of Directors governs the association and meetings are open to all members. For more information on becoming a member or services GAPC provides, please visit GuardianAssociation.org.