Protecting Your Digital Assets In Your Estate Plan

So much of most people’s lives are online today that your estate plan should take into consideration your digital assets. That includes everything from your social media accounts to your online-only banking accounts. Having digital assets is no problem, but you need to plan for what happens with them to ensure your wishes can be maintained. A Los Angeles family law attorney at Martin Family Law Group can help you protect your digital assets in an estate plan.

How to Protect Your Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

There are numerous benefits that come from protecting your digital assets including giving you a way to control what happens to them after your death. To do so, consider the following steps.

Inventory Your Assets

As you would with any other asset you own, write down a list of all of your digital assets. This should include the following:

  • All online accounts you have
  • All electronic devices you use (do not forget the older ones)
  • All digital files you have

Be sure to provide all login information to the party who will eventually obtain this information. You can also include answers to security questions and any instructions for using the account.

Put in Place Someone to Manage These Assets

digital executor is a person who can manage the process after your death. This person will be named by you (generally in your will) with specific goals and responsibilities outlined. They should be the person who will manage and distribute any digital assets you have according to the wishes you have.

Make Sure You Update Your Will

Once you take these steps, go back to your will and estate plan to update it to reflect your digital assets and the digital executor you have assigned. Since your will acts as a single document for all details, you want to be sure this is the most comprehensive and updated resource on a consistent basis.

You will should do several things:

  • List your digital asset inventory completely
  • Add the name and contact information of the digital executor
  • Outline what you wish them to manage and how
  • Provide directions on which accounts should be deleted in full (and if anyone should have access to them prior to that)
  • Set up a way to transfer the ownership of that account to the person you name if it will not be deleted
  • If these accounts have digital media and content, create a plan for how that data will be maintained or removed from the appropriate sites

Keep in mind that you also need to make sure any decisions you make are in compliance with privacy loans. And, you need to come back to this will over time to make sure it clearly is updated as it needs to be. If you update passwords or add new accounts, make sure your will and inventory list are priorities to update as well.

Think about your digital assets. From photos to your detailed YouTube videos, from your online banking to that investment account you set up – you likely have a lot of small profiles that need attention. Plan for them in your estate plan.