Digital Asset Planning in Long Island

Long Island Estate Planning Attorney

Need help crafting a digital estate plan? A Long Island estate planning lawyer at the Law Offices of Steven M. Adler, PLLC can assist you today! Digital assets, which are defined as online accounts protected by usernames and passwords that contain economically or sentimentally valuable content, are an increasing important aspect of probate and estate planning. These assets include the following:

  • Social Networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Email Accounts: Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, Microsoft Outlook
  • Online Financial or Brokerage Accounts
  • Online Bank Accounts: E-Trade, ING, ScottTrade, Fidelity
  • Photo-sharing Sites: Picassa, Kodak Gallery, Snapfish, Flicker
  • Personal or professional Blogs

The Importance of a Modern Estate Plan

Although almost everyone has digital assets, there are few laws to determine the future of these accounts after the death of their creator. This lack of government control has far-reaching effects, including an increased risk of postmortem identity theft as hackers use unmonitored accounts. Additionally, if you are a computer programmer, graphic artist, photographer, writer or musician, you may have particularly valuable data to protect. Creating an estate plan prepared for the digital age can help safeguard your assets and the future of your loved ones.

Estate Planning in the Digital Age

The first step to creating a comprehensive digital estate plan is to take inventory of all of your online accounts, complete with passwords and usernames. You should then place that information in a secure place, such as a home safe or an on-line safe. After you have completed these tasks, you should select a fiduciary and provide him or her with your information as well as instructions of what to do with your digital assets after your passing.

Currently, executors, agents, guardians and beneficiaries do not have explicit legal access to a deceased loved one's digital assets, which is why you should provide them with this information. If you have particular privacy concerns, you should keep the list of usernames in a separate place from the passwords or have your executor delete all confidential or sensitive information. You may also have a license to use a particular web resource or service. These licenses are generally not transferrable, but should still be discussed with your fiduciary.

The Benefits of Legal Counsel

A Long Island estate planning attorney from the Law Offices of Steven M. Adler, PLLC can help you guard your digital assets and protect your loved ones. We have over 25 years of experience and keep up-to-date on all aspects of digital estate planning. Our legal team understands that the world is constantly changing, and the use of online accounts is still a relatively new phenomenon. The attorneys at our firm, however, are prepared to personally draft your estate plan from start to finish, including any digital assets involved.

We understand that your family is important to you, and we can help you protect them and your information in the future. If you are seeking comprehensive and personal legal counsel from a lawyer who can create a plan that addresses your needs and desires, contact our firm today!