Estate Planning Must-Do: Organize Your Digital Assets

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017, 1:39 am

The world is becoming more and more digital. As the internet grows, new apps, programs and software are being created, putting just about everything online.

While this can make our day-to-day easier, storing items online can present challenges for estate planning and creating a will. Although people are storing more online, they’re failing to account for digital effects when creating their wills.

Today it is much more common to store family photos on social media or in the cloud than it is to keep a shoebox of physical pictures. But what happens to the digital version of those images once the owner passes away? If they’re not accounted for appropriately, they could disappear.

Other digital assets can be even more important when planning your will. Because large organizations, such as banks or service providers, are pushing for paperless billing and files, many of your important documents may be stored in an email address or digital folder.

If you’re not providing access to a family member or estate executor, you may cause a major headache for them after you pass. Ensuring the passwords or instructions for accessing these documents is outlined in your will can ensure your property and assets fall into the right hands.

 

How to Account for Digital Effects in Estate Planning

 

When creating your estate plan, take a moment to list all the digital accounts or platforms that you use. This can include email addresses, social media pages, cloud storage accounts, and more. Then list the login information for each account and any special instructions your estate executor may need.

If you have important documents, family videos, or accounts that you want to ensure are accounted for, clearly describe where they can be found. Creating a special folder or account to store this information can make it even easier for your estate executor.

Finally, be sure that your will gives authorization to your estate executor to access digital information, including giving them the ability to change passwords if needed. Through outlining this detail in your will, your estate executor will run into less roadblocks when trying to manage your estate.

If you need additional help creating an estate plan that fits your needs and accounts for all your digital accounts, contact the expert attorneys at Michael F. Kanzer & Associates, P.C.

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