The obvious things to take into account when it comes to estate planning include assets like cash, property, jewelry and other tangible possessions that you want to pass on to your loved ones. But today your assets are not limited to such items. We spend an increased amount of time online and leave behind a trail of information which could have great value. This means you should take your digital assets into account when preparing your estate planning documents.
Why is it Necessary to Plan for Digital Assets?
Digital assets like online bank accounts (i.e. PayPal) and stock trading accounts can have significant account balances which will be lost if you do not plan ahead. Many people earn money from their blogs or sell items on online using shopping portals like Shopify, and these online businesses can have immense financial worth for loved ones for years to come. Other digital assets can include a digital library of movies, songs, ebooks, and TV series which can be treasured by your loved ones. Your pictures and videos on Facebook, Instagram, and Shutterfly can have emotional value to your family members.
More importantly, many digital assets have their own terms and conditions. For instance, many of these companies suspend or even delete your accounts if you do not log in for a while – which is often a six month or a twelve moth period. Add this to the fact that some of these sites even start to charge you if your account remains inactive for too long. It is important that your loved ones have access to these online sites else they will be left vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.
How to Plan for Digital Assets?
You should begin by taking a note of all your digital assets and writing them down along with passwords and login details. You should preserve this list with a reliable estate planning attorney. The list would only be accessed after you die or become incapacitated. You should also let your heirs and loved ones know that you have planned for your digital assets. Another task is to let them know what is to be done with your accounts once you pass. You may want your accounts closed and you may want your posts on Twitter and other social media sites deleted.
As technology constantly evolves, our digital assets also become obsolete or transfer to other forms. Therefore, you will most likely need to update your digital asset list from time-to-time so that your loved ones do not face any problem afterwards and your wishes are carried out after you pass. To update your estate plan to include your digital assets, contact Dana Law Group today at 1-800-381-8132.