The estate planning industry has done a poor job of being accessible to underserved communities. See how a digital will can be the key to growing generational wealth over time.
Estate planning often seems like something for the wealthy. Even the term “estate planning” has an aristocratic sound to it. The truth is, the word estate has Latin and French roots, both related to the word “status.” When people are asked why they don’t have a will, many respond that they aren’t wealthy enough to have one, or feel that their assets are too meager to ‘qualify’ for one. While you don’t need to ‘qualify’ to have a will, it speaks to the lack of information available about this topic, specifically in underserved communities.
Should Everyone Have a Will?
The truth is that everyone should have a will. The headaches around the process of creating one and the cost have been two major reasons that many decide to forgo the process. Even celebrities and wealthy individuals often pass away with no will in place. This leads to confusion and frustration on top of the grief loved ones feel in the wake of the death of a family member.
Another reason many don’t have wills is that they view the process as morbid. While thinking about death and planning ahead for it might seem like a dark endeavor, it is also a reality that needs to be addressed. However, just the mere fact that it is viewed as something that you “have” to do causes some to balk at the process.
Still others have the notion that they don’t have enough assets to warrant creating a will. This is actually more the fault of the estate planning industry. On one hand, they have made the process cumbersome and expensive. Even the “DIY” solutions such as Legal Zoom or Trust & Will are not truly helpful, as the execution of the document still needs to be handled.
How Underserved Communities Are Ignored By the Estate Planning Industry
Different communities handle assets in different ways. Also, not everyone is going to have 2 houses and several million dollars in the bank to leave to their heirs. However, in the modern world, there are plenty of assets that almost everyone has that can be left to loved ones. Also, there are things that most people have that they wouldn’t even think to put in a will.
The estate planning industry has been slow to recognize these facts. Traditional law firms and even the more “technology driven” solutions have failed to communicate these facts. This is due to many factors, but the overall consensus is that minorities are largely ignored by these traditional elements in the estate planning industry. Why?
We won’t get into the shameful history of the treatment of minorities here, as it is well documented elsewhere. But often overlooked in the discussion is the lack of generational wealth this treatment has created. Rather than attempt to help these communities, the estate planning industry simply keeps their costs high and focuses their efforts on those with significant assets. It is telling that many of the celebrities and wealthy individuals that died without wills were also minorities.
That’s one reason it is more important than ever to consider a digital will. While you may not have the traditional assets associated with estate planning, there are significant digital assets that need to be dealt with upon your passing.
Another barrier to traditional estate planning is the cost. Not only is it expensive to prepare a will, it is also expensive to update it, which should be done annually or at least every time a major life event occurs. The birth of a grandchild, buying or selling a home, or even opening a new bank account; these are all events that need to be updated in your will. But every time you need to update your will, you need to break out the checkbook and pay your attorney. A digital will from DigitalWill.com is free to update as many times as you wish.
Digital Assets Can Be Passed On In Your Digital Will
Almost everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, or nationality is using social media these days. With that being said, having your social media profiles handled according to your wishes is not always simple. We covered that in great detail recently. However, a digital will from DigitalWill.com can help give your loved ones clarity as to what you want done with these assets when you pass on.
Other digital assets may have more monetary value, and should be handled the way you wish. For example, your PayPal, Venmo, or CashApp accounts. According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of African Americans use CashApp, and 37% use Venmo. Within the Hispanic community, 37% use Cashapp and 42% use PayPal to handle transactions. These accounts and the money stored in them can be lost upon death if they are not accessible. Storing the info in your digital will ensures that the executors you choose receive the access they need, giving them less to worry about.
Almost everyone has some form of subscription service set up. Whether it is a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu, an Amazon Prime membership, or even a pet food subscription like Chewy, hundreds of millions of active subscriptions exist in the U.S. alone. These are all invariably tied to a credit card or bank account. When you die, these remain active until the cards are deactivated. This can take time, which then costs more money. Millions of dollars are lost on subscriptions that are not canceled, including those kept active after death.
Your estate is everything you own, and your digital estate includes many of these services and tools. Your family and friends will be left to deal with them after your passing. This is the information the estate planning industry refuses to communicate to underserved communities.
Digital Wills Are An International Product
Digital assets are usually global in nature. Netflix has subscribers all over the world, and PayPal is a global transaction company. Whereas 67% of Americans do not have wills, the number is more alarming on a global scale, at nearly 90%. So many assets will be lost due to lack of access. We all save photos to our iCloud accounts and social media profiles, and these will be lost as well.
Because transferring passwords and logins is not the same as a deed or bank account, the rules are significantly different. You could email your login information to any person in the world if you wanted to. However, this is not a secure way to ensure your assets are managed properly after your death.
A digital will gives you the peace of mind that your assets are protected and shared according to your wishes. With military-grade security built in, this is the safest way to keep your information private and secure.
A digital will can stop these precious assets from being lost. By creating your digital will on DigitalWill.com and choosing your executors, you can keep these memories and assets in the family, where they belong.