You might think that your digital assets are the last thing on your mind when you are engaged in estate planning. However, digital assets can sometimes be very valuable and there may even be a legal battle over your digital assets after you pass away. Some digital assets, such as BitCoin, can even be worth millions of dollars.
Control of Your Online Presence
If you had an online presence that was important to you, control over your online presence after you pass away might be something you're concerned about. For example, who might end up in control of your social media accounts? You may be able to leave an account to a friend or family member so they can then continue to manage it and at least update your followers.
Control of Your Subscriptions
You may have subscriptions to multiple services. In some cases, you may simply want these subscriptions canceled so the accounts associated with them do not continue to be billed. In other cases, you may want the subscription continued if someone other than you benefits from it. Make sure to include these instructions in your estate.
Anything you own that is stored digitally may become a part of your estate. This can include digital family photos, storage websites, videos, cloud accounts, backup devices, and even games. As long as you name it in your estate, you may be able to give this digital asset to someone else.
The Challenges of Digital Assets
One of the challenges of digital assets is that the fact that they are not tangible can lead to others not realizing they even exist. Therefore, you will want to create records of the digital assets that you consider to be the most important.
Make sure to include what the assets are, how they can be used, what you have done with them, and anything you need to access them. For example, if a specific password is needed to access the asset, be sure to include this. Provide a cell phone number and email associated with the account because some accounts may trigger security measures when accessed from a new device.
Responsibilities of the Executor
The executor of the estate is responsible for making sure that they act in the best interest of the estate. You must give explicit permission in the will to access communications such as email and text. Also, if you do not want anyone to access your files, speak to an estate planning service about your legal options.
If you have additional questions, contact a local estate planning attorney.Share