The Importance of Including Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

An estate plan generally includes the tangible assets you own, such as cash and securities, investment real estate, vehicles, and your However, more recently, people are living in a digital world, where prized possessions include online bank accounts, social media accounts and other significant items protected “in the cloud.”

Often, it’s out of sight out of mind and people forget to provide for their digital assets. It’s no longer enough to just cover tangible personal property in your estate plan.

In order to ensure that your estate plan is all-inclusive, collect all the relevant information on your family’s behalf. This includes a list of email addresses, usernames and passwords. Because you’re periodically required to change passwords for security purposes, try to keep this list updated. Consider using a password manager program for convenience.

Next, address the list of your digital assets in your will and trust documents. Significantly, make sure you assign authority to manage the assets of financial accounts and provide for their ultimate distribution. In addition, determine who’ll be the beneficiaries of digitally stored photographs or music and other items of sentimental value. You don’t want to have your kids fighting over these when you’re gone.

And don’t stop at your will and trusts. Incorporate this concept into a durable power of attorney (POA). If you don’t already have a POA in place, create this legal document simultaneously with your will and trust. It enables a designated party to act on your behalf in a multitude of situations. Also, remember to designate someone to have access to the location and passwords for your digital assets.

Remember that, as your life changes, so must your estate plan. Please call Agins Law Firm, PLC at (480) 480-401-2660 to create or update your estate plan and remember also to review the documents relating to your digital assets on a regular basis.