In the twenty-first century, we have new assets to protect: digital assets. Digital assets can involve whatever is on your Facebook page, blog or photo sharing site. Digital assets are especially imperative to estate plan for if your job involves graphic design, videography, photography, blogging, etc. Examples of digital assets include (but are not limited to) the following:
- E-mail accounts
- Documents and files
- Websites and blogs
- Social networking accounts
- Music and books
- Online shopping accounts
- Banking and bill pay accounts
According to a 2011 McAfee study, Americans value the digital assets they own across multiple digital devices at nearly $55,000. When you plan for your digital assets, you have to think through important issues such as security, privacy and your legacy. Questions to ask yourself include:
- Who will access and control my accounts following my death?
- How will my executor or agent get access?
- How do I want my digital assets transferred to beneficiaries?
- How will fiduciaries know where to find the information on my digital assets?
Ways to protect your digital assets include inventorying them and including these assets in your estate plan. To begin with, make a list of all your accounts and assets, including usernames and passwords, answers to security questions and any other necessary information that will help an executor/fiduciary access your information. Secondly, include enabling provisions in your estate plan that covers the management and disposition of your digital assets.
If you would like to learn more about estate planning for digital assets, do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Steven M. Adler, PLLC. With 25 years of experience behind them, the team at the firm would love to assist you today! Call (516) 740-1184 to schedule a sit-down appointment with an estate planning expert you can trust to guide you effectively!