Digital Assets Present New Challenges in Estate Planning
As technology evolves, more of our lives are now online. And as our population slowly shifts from home storage to digital, fewer people hold on to physical copies of certain types of property. This includes things like photographs, documents and various digital assets.
What makes digital assets especially unique is that they may be copied and transferred and not lose their value. For instance, if someone makes a copy of a computer program and gives that copy to another person, the original is still valuable. When it comes to estate planning, there are some special considerations you and your attorney should address related to digital assets.
In addition to assets like files and programs, many people also store some of their financial data in online-only accounts. For example, through the use of accounts such as PayPal and iTunes, a person may store assets worth thousands of dollars online that cannot be withdrawn at a physical location. When it comes time to settle a person’s estate, sometimes these accounts will not allow anyone other than the primary account holder access the funds. Additionally, the accounts are susceptible to hacking, and a person’s estate could be drained of the finances.
Digital assets represent a relatively new frontier in the world of estate planning. When working with your attorney, be sure to share all of your online assets and property, including account numbers, user names and passwords. You can store this information in a safe and secure way until it becomes necessary to settle your estate sometime in the future.
Even if you don’t have significant digital assets, it’s important to establish a sound estate plan to best protect you and your loved ones. To get started, speak with a skilled Florida estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.