Managing Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan
Digital assets, just like physical assets, need to be accounted for as you develop your estate plan. You should always have a full inventory of all of your online assets and make sure someone knows about them ahead of time.
Digital assets can be just about anything, including the following:
- Online bank or stock trading accounts that have actual real-world cash value
- Any websites, blogs or domain names that you own under your name
- Any money you have collected in a PayPal or eBay account, or similar accounts
- Money stored in or assets collected through your iTunes, Steam or other online accounts
- Your email accounts that store personal information
- Any social media or website accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest
- Your actual computer or any digital files you have stored in cloud storage or online servers
All of these assets have some sort of value to them, whether financial or sentimental. You need to be especially careful in terms of outlining what you want to have happen to domain names or websites, as there are domain squatters out there who are looking for an opportunity to take over valuable domain names.
To protect all of your digital assets, make sure you keep a thorough inventory of them, including all passwords and screen names, and save this information with your other estate planning documents. Make sure the executor of your estate knows about these digital assets and what to do with them.
You should also check with any of these online companies to see if they have specific policies about what happens to your accounts after you die. Facebook, for example, has introduced “legacy accounts” as a way to preserve and protect the accounts of deceased users.
To learn more about how you can protect your digital assets well into the future, contact a trusted Tampa estate planning lawyer with BaumannKangas Estate Law.