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Estate Planning With Digital Assets: What You Need to Know

Posted by Dana Law Group on December 15, 2021

In just the past year alone, the world of digital assets took center stage as “Buy the Dip” trended on Twitter alongside reports of Bitcoin’s all-time high valuations. From crypto to decentralized non-fungible tokens (NFTs), it seems as if the world is focused on digital assets and their place in our lives going forward. This can become a particularly interesting conversation when discussing estates and estate planning with the professionals at Dana Law Group.

Let’s explore how digital assets fit into a traditional discussion centered on estate planning and what you can do to better prepare for these situations in the future.

Defining Digital Assets

A cursory discussion surrounding digital assets will feature conversations about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency in general, as well as digital items like NFTs. These digital possessions have shown an uncanny ability to rack up quite a value, as noted by several of the historic NFT sales placed in the past 18 months. With that being said, digital assets also extend beyond this limited concept.

When developing an estate plan, digital assets can include online storage, blogs, email accounts, phone applications, and even the streaming providers that we subscribe to. Essentially, a digital asset is anything digital that has been secured by a username and password. While these all may not seem that important in the grand scheme of things, they are still important enough to be included in the discussion of your estate.

Consider the sudden loss of a loved one who had invested heavily in cryptocurrency. Their digital assets are only available through a specific wallet and key. Without an estate plan and method in place, these finances could be lost forever.

Incorporating Digital Assets

Understanding that digital assets exist is one thing, but putting them into your estate plan is another entirely. To best succeed, speak with a professional to help get your digital assets into your estate plan. This will involve placing usernames, passwords, and access instructions in the Last Will and Testament. This is also a good time to add this information to the power of attorney, empowering a third party to act out on behalf of the deceased individual.

Make sure to take time to assess what private materials you do not want to be disseminated in your estate plan. There may be certain digital assets that you want protected or kept from the view of the public. In these cases, it is immensely important to work with a professional with experience that you can trust.  For help with your digital assets, contact the Dana Law Group at your convenience!