Estate Planning for Digital Assets

Estate Planning for Digital Assets

August 10, 2018

Among many other benefits, estate planning gives you greater control over how you will pass your assets down to your loved ones and manage your legacy. In today’s highly digital world, these assets are no longer just physical belongings—they also encompass your online accounts. Like with any other assets, it’s important for you to consider exactly what you wish to happen to these digital assets after you pass.

Here’s some information to consider from an estate planning attorney in Miami, FL.

Defining digital assets

Digital assets are increasingly becoming a permanent part of estate planning. There are many different types of digital assets—most of these are accounts, such as your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) and message board accounts. There are other accounts you have that will contain a lot of important information about you, including your online bank accounts, PayPal accounts, Amazon accounts, Netflix subscriptions and much more. All of these accounts contain personal information and are frequently connected to your financial accounts.

The rise in cryptocurrency has created another digital asset that people must plan for. If you have Bitcoin, Litecoin or any of the other types of cryptocurrencies that have become popular in recent years, these are certainly assets you’ll want to include in your estate plan.

Finally, many people use cloud storage to safely and reliably store photos, documents and music. These assets can have a lot of sentimental value, so it’s important to consider them in your estate plan.

How to deal with these assets in your estate plan

So how do you go about managing these assets in your estate plan? For the most part you can treat them like any other asset you own. Here are some specific tips and guidelines:

  • Take an inventory: Make a list of all the digital assets you own, and include how to access each of those assets. This means you’ll need to compile a list of all your usernames and passwords.
  • Inform your executor: Make sure your estate executor understands each of the types of accounts and technologies you’ve included in your estate plan. If your executor is not up to date with these types of digital applications, you might consider choosing a “digital executor” who will better be able to manage those specific assets.
  • Assess the accounts: Do any of your accounts or digital assets have monetary value? Depending on the answer to this question, you might handle some of your assets differently than others.
  • Secure the information: Store all the information you collected about accessing these assets in a safe spot. Attach it to your will, use an online storage service, give the information to your attorney or print it in a physical document and put it in a safe or safety deposit box.

For more information about how you can handle digital assets in your estate plan, we encourage you to contact a skilled estate planning lawyer in Miami, FL with your questions today.

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