The rapid advancement of technology has allowed for an increase in the digitization of assets. Multiple aspects of our lives that required physical documents have now become available in an intangible digital form. This can make estate planning somewhat more complicated in today’s world. To learn more about digital estate planning, read on or reach out to one of our Butler County Estate Planning & Probate Attorneys for quality legal counseling.
WHAT IS A DIGITAL ESTATE PLAN?
Basically, a digital estate plan just means including your digital assets along with your standard physical assets (like property) in your estate plan. A digital asset is any online record that a person owns. There are many different types of digital assets; not all digital assets have financial value. The most common types of digital assets included in estate planning include:
- Finances – Many aspects of banking have become digital, so it’s no surprise that digital financial assets should be included in your estate planning too. Bank accounts and online payment services like PayPal are considered digital finances.
- Digital Collections – Many people store photos, videos, and audio files on digital devices or cloud-based systems. These digital collections probably don’t have much financial value, but they most likely have sentimental value and therefore should be considered when estate planning.
- Rewards Programs – Because many stores have special rewards programs nowadays, you may have valuable points, discounts, or cash back that you’ll want to include in your estate plan.
- Social Media – Like digital collections, people’s social media accounts usually don’t have any financial value, but you may want to allow your beneficiaries to access or administer your social media accounts anyway.
Most people have some form of digital assets, so it’s important to create a digital estate plan. If you don’t include your these assets in your estate planning, your beneficiaries may not be able to legally access irreplaceable content such as sentimental photos. Some people forget to consider sentimental value assets when creating an estate plan, but digitized content is important too because it’s often irreplaceable.
HOW DO I PROTECT MY DIGITAL ASSETS?
It’s incredibly important to protect your digital assets by considering them along with your standard estate plan. You can do this by working with an estate planning attorney to discuss your options. An attorney can help you create a thorough legal estate plan to fit your needs.
Looking for a seasoned estate planning lawyer with your best interests in mind? Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC is here to guide you through the estate planning legal process. Contact us today for an initial consultation with one of our compassionate, highly experienced attorneys.