Creating an estate plan is something all responsible adults should do. After all, after you pass, it ensures that your assets are passed on according to your wishes and minimizes the likelihood of your estate having to go through the probate process.
While this is important, there are other needs that have to be addressed as well. For example, if you have a child with special needs, or young children, you may want to designate guardians and create plans that outline, specifically, how your children are to be cared for. Or, you may want to plan ahead so that you can eventually qualify for Medicaid.
But have you thought about your digital assets? Do you know what is going to happen to them once you pass away?
What Exactly are Digital Assets?
Today is called the digital age for a reason. Due to the prevalence of digital assets, they are becoming a more common part of estate planning.
Put simply, your digital assets refer to the online accounts you own and any electronically stored data.
While this definitely includes your social medial accounts (i.e. Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), it also includes things like your Amazon account, PayPal account, and even your subscription to Hulu or Netflix. Also, each of these accounts has a direct link to your bank account. You probably even bank online.
Digital assets also include the photos and other information stored on your computer. And, if you’re old enough, you might have several thousand songs stored on an external hard drive.
What to do to Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan
To properly plan for the future of your digital assets, you need to do the following:
- Create a list of all your digital assets and how you access each one, including if your computer is protected by a password, the accounts you have online, and if you use cloud storage.
- Determine how your assets are going to be handled and if they have monetary value.
- Name your digital executor. This is the person who is going to handle any decisions regarding your digital assets.
- Put all this information in a secure location. Some of the most common options include keeping the info in a safe, using an online storage service, or giving it to an attorney.
Creating a legal and viable estate plan is a big step, but it is and extremely important one. It helps to plan for your future and protect your loved ones if you pass away. If you aren’t sure about the process, or need help and guidance, you can work with an estate planning attorney like The KC Estate Planner, LLC. They can help to expedite the process and ensure that you include all necessary information. This is the best way to ensure you account for all your digital assets and that no issues arise after you pass away.