While you may remember to grant your executor access to your bank account, you may forget that this entails giving them access to the information to get into your online account (i.e., username, password, PINs, answers to security questions, etc). This is just one example of a digital asset you must provide in your estate planning documents. Follow along to find out how you can incorporate your digital assets and how one of the proficient Butler County estate planning & probate attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning can guide you in doing so.
What are examples of digital assets?
At initial thought, you may not think that you have many digital assets to disclose in your estate plan if any at all. Though, it is probable that you have the following digital assets in your possession:
- Computers, tablets, phones, digital cameras, and other equipment with some sort of monetary value.
- Online bank accounts, online payment systems (i.e., PayPal), online accounts with accumulated points (i.e., airline and hotel programs), and other digital finance accounts with some sort of monetary value.
- The digital finance accounts that are related to a business you may own.
- The digital intellectual property you may own (i.e., copyrights, trademarks, and patents).
- The e-commerce accounts (i.e., eBay) and income-generating websites you may own.
Importantly, you may also have such assets that do not hold monetary value but hold some sort of sentimental value. And with this, you may want to ensure that they land in safe hands. Examples include your email accounts, social media accounts, personal photographs stored on your devices, or otherwise.
How can I add digital assets to my estate plan?
The best way to add your digital assets to your estate plan is by including a digital asset provision in your last will and in your power of attorney. This is essentially a document that will list these assets and their associated login information.
You should also designate a digital fiduciary. This should be an individual whom you entrust with handling your assets properly, but more importantly, who has sufficient knowledge of digital information. This is why, sometimes, a testator may designate a co-fiduciary solely for digital assets so that they may assist an executor or agent who lacks this skillset.
In the end, it is important that you update the information regarding your digital assets as needed and in a timely manner to eliminate any confusion for your digital fiduciary (i.e., if you changed a password, if you closed an account, etc).
All in all, this planning process may be made easier with sound legal advisement from one of the talented Butler County estate planning attorneys. Contact our firm as soon as you possibly can.