WHAT IS A DIGITAL ESTATE PLAN?
A digital estate plan is a way to legally establish how you want your digital assets handled. Digital assets can be any digital possessions or private digital information that you maintain control over. The most common digital assets included in estate planning are:
- Digital finances – Since banking and monetary transactions have become increasingly digitized, you should consider your bank information.
- Electronic communications – While most people’s social media accounts have no monetary value, you can still decide what happens to your accounts in the future.
- Digital collections – If you have photos, videos, or audio files saved to any device or a digital cloud, you may want to ensure that these sentimental possessions end up in the right hands.
- Online rewards programs – If you have accumulated points or discounts from a company’s rewards program, you may want to include program information in estate planning if there is enough monetary value.
There are many other digital assets that can be included in an estate plan. While not all digital assets have monetary value, you may still want to ensure your family or other beneficiaries have legal access to your digital assets in the future.
WHY SHOULD I INCLUDE DIGITAL ASSETS IN ESTATE PLANNING?
If you are a frequent digital user, it’s incredibly important to consider your digital assets when estate planning. If you don’t include digital assets in your estate planning, your assets could possibly fall into the wrong hands. Your beneficiaries may not have legal access to your digital assets in the future if you fail to create a digital estate plan. This can be devastating especially if these digital assets hold emotional value, like a digital collection of wedding photos for example.
HOW DO I PROTECT MY DIGITAL ASSETS?
You can protect your digital assets by reaching out to an estate lawyer to help you create a thorough estate plan. This could be a will or other legal document that details how your digital assets will be handled and distributed in the future. For digital assets, you normally should include username and password information to ensure the beneficiaries will have access to your accounts.
If you don’t want your digital assets to fall into the wrong hands, you should contact an experienced estate attorney to help you plan accordingly. Don’t hesitate to contact Herting Law, PLLC to speak with a trusted attorney about creating your own digital estate plan today!