Life is full of changes. Thirty years ago, the average Georgia family used a traditional camera and had to take the film to a store to be made into prints, picked up the telephone or a piece of stationery to catch up with friends and relatives and wrote checks to pay the monthly bills. Technological advances have changed the manner in which the average Georgia family communicates and preserves their legacy. Yet, these same families often do not recognize the importance of addressing their digital life when it comes to the creation of wills.
Rather than print out photos, many now store photos on the internet. They may be located in the cloud, on one’s social media account or on one’s private computer. This makes it easy to share photos and look at them at one’s convenience. However, upon the death of the individual, unless access to these photos has been granted as a part of the will or other estate planning tool, it can be difficult for loved ones to gain access to these treasures.
Many individual also conduct their financial business online. They access their bank accounts online and pay their bills online. It is even possible that these statements are no longer even mailed to the individual. Again, this can be a great convenience in that checks to not get lost in the mail and accounts can be updated at a moment’s notice. However, if these items are not included as a part of the will or other estate planning document, it may be months before beneficiaries are even aware of these accounts and may have difficulty accessing them.
Today’s digital lifestyle provides many opportunities to streamline financial affairs and keep up with friends and family. However, it can also be a hindrance to the Georgia family attempting to put a loved one’s affairs in order upon his or her death. An experienced attorney can assist in making sure that the appropriate steps are taken as a part of wills and other documents to avoid such issues.