Protecting your digital assets.
June 16, 2015
We live in an increasingly digital world and many of us rely on our smartphones or tablets to stay connected at work and with family and friends. The use of technology in our lives has led to more people addressing digital assets in their estate plans.
An estate plan is used to make sure your wishes are known after you pass away. This includes documenting what heirlooms your loved ones will receive and how your property should be distributed. With the growing use of technology and digital assets, you need to start including your digital assets in your estate plan too.
What exactly are digital assets? Digital assets can include photos stored online, social media accounts, iTune accounts, online bank and retirement accounts, E-mail accounts, website domains and PayPal accounts. It is important to address digital assets in your estate plan because these assets may be worth something. In addition, your loved ones may want to keep your online photos and other documents.
You should address your digital assets by keeping a list of what accounts you have and how your heirs can access them. You may want to designate a specific executor for your digital assets to make sure your wishes are carried out properly. Another tip to keep in mind is to store your passwords to these online accounts in a separate document but make sure your estate plan says where your beneficiaries can find the passwords and how to access the accounts.
Failure to address your digital assets in your estate plan may not seem like a big deal right now, but it can cause stress and heartache for your loved ones if they cannot access or keep your online possessions. Even if you think you don’t have any digital assets, you probably do so it is best to be aware of your digital assets and include them in your estate plan.