According to a 2011 McAfee study, Americans value the digital assets they own across multiple digital devices at nearly $55,000. Unfortunately, a vast majority of us have not planned for what happens to these assets after we’re gone.
Estate planning for digital assets is growing as fast as technology, and involves issues of security, privacy and legacy planning. For planning purposes, digital assets can include:
- Email accounts
- Documents and files
- Websites and blogs
- Social networking accounts
- Music and books
- Online shopping accounts
- Banking and bill pay accounts
Practical issues that should be considered when planning for the disposition of digital assets include:
- Who will access and control the accounts following your death
- How your executor or agent will get access
- How your digital assets can be transferred to beneficiaries if desired
- How fiduciaries will know where to find all the information on your digital assets
There are two steps you should take to protect your digital assets, with the guidance of a Personal Family Lawyer®:
Inventory digital assets. Make a list of all your accounts and assets, including user names and passwords, answers to security questions and any other necessary information that will allow your executor or fiduciary to access the information.
Include digital assets in estate plan. Include enabling provisions in your estate plan that covers the management and disposition of your digital assets.
If you would like to have a talk about protecting your digital assets through estate planning, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call the Pile Law Firm today at 610-718-6368 and mention this article or fill out our contact form to speak with an attorney.