In today’s digital age, our lives have become intertwined with technology in more ways than we can imagine. We document memories, manage our finances, and even conduct business online. These digital footprints, often called digital assets, hold immense value, both sentimental and financial. As technology advances, protecting these assets in your estate planning has become crucial. So, what are digital assets in will and estate planning, and how can you safeguard them?
Digital assets encompass a wide range of virtual property, including but not limited to:
- Social media profiles
- Financial records
- Email and communication
- Digital media
- Domain names and websites
Steps for Digital Asset Protection
To protect your digital assets effectively, consider these steps:
1. Take Inventory: Create a detailed list of all your digital assets, including logins and passwords, and instructions on management.
2. Appoint a Digital Executor: Designate a trusted individual in your will as an executor to manage your digital assets. Ensure they have the necessary knowledge and access.
3. Provide Clear Instructions: Specify your wishes for each asset. For example, you might want to delete certain online accounts, transfer ownership, or maintain them for family memories and sentimental reasons.
4. Use Online Tools: Some online services offer tools to manage virtual assets should you become incapacitated or deceased. Explore these options and integrate them into your estate plan.
5. Seek Legal Guidance: Consult with an estate planning attorney who understands digital assets and can help you draft a legally sound will that includes them.
As technology evolves, including digital assets in your estate planning is essential. By taking proactive steps to protect your digital footprint, you ensure that the handling of your online presence goes according to your wishes, providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones in the digital age. The experienced team at McCutchen McLean, LLC, can help. Contact them today to schedule a free legal consultation.