You may be well aware of yourassets, but what about those â€œdigitalâ€ ones? What is a â€œdigital assetâ€ anyways?Think about everything you â€œownâ€ online and all the accounts youâ€™ve created.Ringing a bell? Yes, those virtual assets need protection just as much as yourphysical assets do.
Proper planning means planningfor all the lives you lead. It used to be that you had your life in the fleshand then you had your life in paper, that is, your accounts and records andeven contracts. Nowadays, you live much of your life on the internet.
Your online life requires thatinformation about your digital assets and accounts (especially passwords) mustbe included as part of your comprehensive estate plan. In turn, thisinformation must be kept up-to-date and made available to your executors (alsoknown as personal representatives), financial agents and trustees.
Likely, the digital age willonly get more complex. Kiplingerrecently addressed this subject of digital assets in a postmortem planningcontext in an article titled â€œProtect Digital Assets After Your Death.â€
Everything from simple emailaccounts to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and then all the way to investment andbanking sites, each of these contains information that can be of immeasurablevalue economically or sentimentally.
For example, what about youriTunes music collection or Kindle book collection? On the other hand, if yourdigital information is not secured postmortem, then it could become a liabilityin terms of identity theft.
Bottom line: without acomprehensive list of accounts and passwords, executors, trustees and evenheirs might have a hard time accessing and/or closing your accounts.
Do not expect any help at common law either. These arelargely uncharted legal waters. In fact, internet companies themselves are onlyjust starting to address this issue.
For more information on this subject,contact IdahoEstate Planning and schedule aconsultation. Remember,good planning is no accident.