These days you do not just need to worry about physical items and assets when you are making an estate plan. You also need to consider your life on the internet and the digital assets you may have created. You may want to leave a digital asset behind to a specific person, so a Woodland Hills will attorney can help you incorporate such assets into a comprehensive estate plan.
What is a Digital Asset?
Digital assets are the remnants of your digital life that can be left behind when you pass away. This can include data, including things stored in the cloud, and the hardware, like computers, phones, tablets, or external hard drives that can store said data.
It is important to take stock of these assets because they could be valuable to your heirs. This is especially true if you own and operate a business or own digital intellectual property, like a patent, copyright, or trademark. Your digital assets can also include any income-generating website or e-commerce accounts.
Does a Digital Asset Have to Have Monetary Value?
No. You can leave behind physical items with sentimental value, instead of monetary value, in your will. You can do the same with digital assets that may not have cash value but could be valuable to loved ones for other reasons. Common examples include:
- Digital photos and videos
- Documents stored on your devices
- Email accounts
- Social media accounts
Other assets without monetary value can include certain online accounts, shopping accounts, and subscriptions. You should try to account for all of these things in a digital estate plan.
How Can I Sort Out My Digital Estate?
Sorting out your digital estate now can save you a lot of work and some headaches later on. It is a good idea to completely take stock of your digital assets and figure out which ones would need to be passed down to someone else. We suggest that you:
Close out unused accounts: If you do not use an account anymore, just close it out. We have all been using the internet for a long time now, so each of us probably has some dormant or unused accounts we have left behind. Closing out the unneeded ones can make it easier to manage your digital assets in the future.
Write down passwords: Now that you have things narrowed down to the accounts you actually use and need, keep a secure document with its login credentials. That means usernames, passwords, associated email, and security questions.
Include digital assets in your will: Make a provision concerning digital assets in your will and how they will be handled.
Continue to stay updated: Now just stay on top of your digital accounts. Close out any that you stop using and edit your document full of login credentials if you change passwords for anything.
Consult a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney
You want to be sure that all of your property, even the digital ones, are properly dealt with once you are gone. So contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman for a consultation and get all of your questions answered. We are ready to help you develop a complete estate plan.