Why Is Planning For Digital Assets In A Will or Trust Critical?
When we think about what goes in a Will or Trust we usually think about physical assets, such as property and family heirlooms. However, as time goes on and technology advances, more and more of our assets become digital. Before learning why digital assets are so important to put in your Will or Trust, you need to know what qualifies as a digital asset.
What Is A Digital Asset?
Digital assets are any and all assets that exist online. These digital assets may have tangible financial value, but they also may not. Some examples of a digital assets may include:
- any of your social media accounts
- pictures or music you may have online or in another digital form
- online investment accounts
- online bank accounts
- funds you are owed by an online business (such as Amazon or Etsy)
- any type of virtual currency (bitcoin or other)
- online rewards (for example, credit card rewards, hotel points, airline miles)
- anything you might have stored in a “cloud”
- email accounts
- digital copyrights or trademarks
As our digital lives become more prominent, it is important to plan for what happens to your digital assets when you are no longer around to be able to control them. Especially because in the digital age, there is rarely ever a paper trial in order for your family to track and have access to any accounts you may have. An important tip is to keep a record of all of your online accounts as well as usernames and passwords in the event someone else needed to get into them. So many of the online tools we use every day have strict privacy policies that, unless properly planned for beforehand, laws and statutes can make difficult for anyone besides the creator to have access to. Issues like these can be avoided if properly planned for. Planning ahead of time for your digital assets saves your successors unnecessary time, stress, and money that can all be avoidable.
Planning Ahead For Your Digital Assets
As we know, technology rapidly develops. Often, the legal world can be slow to catch up and it can be difficult to make sure your digital assets are legally protected, no matter how technology advances. This is why it is so important to have an experienced estate planning attorney who is educated on this subject, and is constantly updating their knowledge in this area of law to assure that your digital assets are protected now and in the future.
Sean Robertson and Gateville Law Firm concentrate in estate planning. Our estate planning lawyers and staff utilize cutting-edge estate planning and asset protection strategies to protect the economic security and peace of mind of our clients. We are eager to assist you and your family with their estate plans. We are passionate about helping families to protect their assets and create a legacy plan.