There are several reasons you need to create an estate plan. Perhaps the most appealing is being able to direct the way your assets are distributed after you pass away. While this needs to be addressed, there are some other items that need to be understood, too.
For example, if you have children who are very young, or if you have children with special needs, then you may need to designate guardians for these individuals and create a plan regarding how they will be cared for. Or, you may want to avoid probate or plan in advance so that you can qualify for Medicaid in the future.
However, have you thought about your digital assets? What is going to happen to them after you die?
What are Digital Assets?
Today, more and more people have digital assets than ever before. As a result, they are becoming a big part of the estate planning process. A digital asset refers to the online accounts that you likely have.
Some of the most common types of digital assets include social media accounts. It is important to ensure that this information is handled properly. Other accounts that are considered digital assets are Paypal, Amazon, Netflix and more. Each of these are linked to your finances in some way. As a result, it’s important to plan for them in your estate plan.
How to Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan
If you want to ensure your digital assets are handled properly when you pass, then you should first make a list of everything you have. This should include your passwords, cloud storage and more. Determine how you want these assets handled. Note if they have monetary value and if you want some of your digital assets handled in a different way than others.
Next, you need to name a digital executor. This is the person that will handle all of the decisions in the questions above. Make sure the information is stored in a secure location, which means giving them to your lawyer, putting the info in a save or even using an online storage service.
You should also talk about your digital assets with your attorney. They can help ensure that everything is handled properly and will meet your expectations after you have passed away.