24 Jun Protecting Your Digital Assets

Creating an Estate Plan has turned into a more intricate task with the age of technology. Today, people have large quantities of digital assets that all need to be included in an Estate Plan. A digital asset can be an individual’s Facebook account, files on a computer, YouTube account, an online billing site, e-mail accounts, blogs, domain names, a Twitter account, etc. These assets can be stored on several different electronic devices, such as on a computer, a phone or even in a Cloud. And like other assets you acquire, digital assets can be passed on to family or friends in the event of your death.
However, what if your family and friends cannot access your digital assets? It is critical that an Estate Plan includes Username’s and Password’s for all digital assets for various reasons. The deceased’s payment of bills may be set up online and their final bills will need to be paid, or otherwise penalties may collect. The deceased’s Social Media site and e-mail account may need to be deleted for identity theft prevention. Often, people store tax documents and financial records on computers that are password protected but may be needed in the affairs following their death. What if the deceased or incapacitated individual had thousands of frequent flier miles that were never used? If information on accessing the account is included in the Estate Plan, it will allow those air miles to be accessed and possibly used by the beneficiaries.
The value of digital assets can be high, whether financially or personally, and when left without ways of access, it can cause much stress and difficulty for the deceased’s family and friends. To include such assets in an Estate Plan helps streamline the affairs following the deceased’s death and provide for the family. For legal assistance in writing a will or amending your current will to include your digital assets, please contact Attorney Jacqueline Ferris MacLaren, with MacLaren Law, LLC, at (614) 855-6527 or jackie@maclarenlaw.net. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not to be construed as legal advice.
By Dalyn Dean