People nowadays prefer to manage most of their things digitally, mainly because of the utmost convenience the online realm offers to everyone. Whether it is making financial transactions, sending messages and emails, or storing digital files on the cloud, digitization has prevailed in almost every aspect of our lives. But have you ever pondered over what will happen to your digital assets after you die or become incapacitated? Who will manage or distribute them after you?
Almost everything online is protected with some kind of PIN, ID, or password. Since no one, except you, knows about this information to gain access to your lifetime’s worth of digital assets, they become a source of problem, sometimes even contention, for beneficiaries and executors who have to settle your estate.
What Constitutes as Digital Assets?
Anything that is intangible and in a binary format is a digital asset. This may include:
- Accounts on social media networks, such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others. This may also include all the files, such as videos, and photos, uploaded on these networks
- Your presence on online forums and communities
- Email accounts
- Payment accounts on PayPal, OpenPay, and others
- Financial accounts and utilities
- Photos, music, documents, software, and other files stored on your computer
- Websites, blogs, and licensed domain names
- Any data stored on personal computer
Estate Planning for Digital Assets
When you create an estate plan for your tangible assets, you appoint a trustee or executor to distribute your estate as per your wishes. Depending on your preference, the executor of the physical property may or may not be same for your digital assets. Whether you think a single person can handle this task, you need to make sure you share the credentials of every account so that your executor can easily access them and manage them accordingly.
Whatever your preference is, once you name the executor, they should be instructed to perform the following duties:
- Cancel any subscriptions, such as newsletters, packages, and others, and inform online businesses that their services are no longer needed.
- Manage your online accounts by extracting important data from them or simply deleting them
- Swipe your search and surfing history from all web browsers that are not important for the inheritors
- Leave comments on all social media accounts informing everyone about deceased and that they will be deactivated after a while.
You will have to create a list of all online accounts and websites you have, along with the IDs, passwords, security questions and their answers, and any other relevant information. You may also add them to your will so that your trustee can use them to manage your digital assets.
Consult with An Elgin Estate Planning Attorney Today
If you want to know to more about estate planning for digital assets or organizing your documents and information, you may call the Jackson Abdalla Law Group today at (773) 550-3853 to schedule an initial consultation.