Pity our poor adult children. When they meet the love of their life and decide to commit to each other, they face an ordeal we didn't: Whether to and how to merge digital accounts. If newlyweds decide to save money by using one Spotify account--rather than each having his/her own--will Spotify's algorithms let one person's Latin beats seep into the other's country music vibe?
Well, that's their problem to solve. But we play a role in some of their other digital account mergers. A son may be using our Netflix account while his bride may be using her parents' password. Do we kick him off? Should they elect to leave their home bases and start a new account that's their own?
Hitting even closer to home: Many of us still carry our grown children on our cellphone family plan. Do we kick them off once they marry or are in a committed relationship? Shouldn't they start a cellphone plan of their own? After all, one day they may be putting their own children on a cellphone family plan.
There is one digital issue that affects us more directly: How do we keep passwords to our financial accounts to ourselves and yet make sure, as a matter of estate planning, that our heirs have access to them?
One expert Erin Lowry, put it this way in a Washington Post story,
"It can be painful to talk about estate planning, ...but if one partner dies, the other will need access to important digital accounts. Adopt some sort of password manager, choose beneficiaries and set up “transfer on death” designations for your primary accounts. Even Facebook has legacy contacts who can access accounts if the holder dies."
Now that I've put that excellent advice into a blog post, how long is it going to take me to act on it? Don't ask!
photo: Maia Lemov