Digital estate planning, an often-overlooked aspect of estate management, becomes even more critical when it involves a special needs adult. With the increasing reliance on digital platforms for communication, entertainment and daily living, ensuring that a special needs adult’s digital assets are appropriately managed after a caretaker – usually a parent – passes away is important.
Digital assets encompass a wide range of elements, from social media accounts and digital photographs to email accounts and online banking details. For a special needs adult, these may also include digital tools or services specifically tailored to their care or communication needs. It’s essential to identify and make an inventory of these assets as part of a caretaker’s estate planning process.
Continuity of care
One of the primary concerns in digital estate planning for a special needs adult is continuity of care. This effort involves making sure that any digital platforms or services they rely on for health management, daily routines, or personal support are not disrupted. This might include subscriptions to specialized services, access to online medical records or digital reminders for medication and appointments.
Another important consideration is safeguarding a special needs adult’s digital privacy and security. This includes securing passwords and access to devices and accounts. It’s important to designate a trusted individual who can manage these digital assets and ensure that they are used in the best interest of the special needs adult.
The plan should include detailed instructions about managing the digital assets, including login information, account details and wishes regarding the continuation or closure of certain accounts. It’s also critical to regularly update this plan to reflect any changes in digital asset usage or platforms.
Digital estate planning with a special needs adult’s best interests in mind requires thoughtful consideration and a proactive approach. Seeking legal guidance can help parents who are concerned about leaving a special needs adult behind in crafting a comprehensive plan that meets their unique needs.