In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of including your digital assets in your estate plan. Here, we’ll talk about the best ways to get started with this process.
Today, estate planning encompasses not just tangible property like finances and real estate, but also digital assets like
cryptocurrency, blogs, and social media. With so much of our lives now lived online, it’s vital you put the proper estate planning provisions in place to ensure your digital assets are effectively
protected and passed on in the event of your incapacity or death.
However, because many types of online assets have only been in existence for a handful of years, there are very few laws governing how they should be dealt with through estate planning. And due to their virtual and often anonymous nature, just locating and accessing some of these assets can be extremely difficult for those you leave behind.
Given these unique challenges, last week we discussed some of the most common types of digital assets and the legal landscape surrounding them. Here, we offer some practical tips to ensure all of your digital property is effectively incorporated into your estate plan.
Best practices for including digital assets in your estate plan
If you’re like most people, you probably own numerous digital assets, some of which likely have significant monetary and/or sentimental value. Other types of online property may have no value for anyone other than yourself or be something you’d prefer your family and friends not access or inherit.
To ensure all of your digital assets are accounted for, managed, and passed on in exactly the way you want, you should take the following steps:
6. Check service providers’ access-authorization tools: Carefully review the terms and conditions for your online accounts. Some service providers like Google, Facebook, and Instagram have tools
in place that allow you to easily designate access to others in the event of your death. If such a function is offered, use it to document who you want to have access to these accounts.
Just make certain the people you named to inherit your digital assets using the providers’ access-authorization tools match those you’ve named in your estate plan. If not, the provider will probably give priority access to the person named with its tool, not your estate plan.
Truly comprehensive estate planning
With technology rapidly evolving, it’s critical that your estate planning strategies evolve at the same time to adapt to
this changing environment. With us as your Personal Family Lawyer®,
we can help you update your plan to include not only your physical wealth and property, but all of your digital assets, too.
We know how valuable online property can be, and unlike many lawyers, we have the experience and skills to ensure these assets are preserved and passed on seamlessly.
Moreover, we can do this while respecting and protecting your privacy rights. Contact us today to get started.
This article is a service of The Law Offices of Jenny Ling, PLLC, Personal Family Lawyer®. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning SessionTM, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.