We live in a world where more and more parts of our lives are online. Almost everyone has some digital asset, even if it is only an email account. Regardless of how many digital assets you have or what kind of digital assets they are, it’s important to consider what you would like to happen to those assets in the event of incapacity or death.
If you’re wondering what kinds of digital assets you have, know that digital assets describe a wide variety of assets that you have a right to use which are not tangible. Digital assets fall into four basic categories, including personal or sentimental assets, financial assets, business interests, and social media accounts. Some examples of sentimental or personal digital assets are email accounts, photos, and digital music. Social media accounts include accounts on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and similar websites. PayPal is just one example of a digital financial statement; there are also online banks, investment products, and different types of digital financial assets. If you are a seller on eBay or Amazon or you have a shop on Etsy, a commercial blog or some other kind of e-commerce website, you’ve got one or more digital business interests.
Digital assets can easily be incorporated into your new or existing estate plan. When you talk with your estate planning attorney about creating or updating your estate plan, mention that you are interested in including your digital assets in your estate plan. You’ll need to compile a list of all of your digital assets so that your attorney can guide you in incorporating them into your estate plan.
When you consider how you would like to address your digital assets in your estate plan, you’ll need to decide how to deal with them in your estate plan. First, learn what procedures each of your digital assets has in place for transfer of use to others or transfer of rights. You’ll need to know what you can do with each asset; otherwise, you run the risk of making plans that cannot be carried out when the time comes for them to go into action. One approach to dealing with digital assets in an estate plan is to might grant access to them to an agent in a power of attorney so that those assets could be managed if you become incapacitated. Maintain a current list of accounts and passwords and keep it on file with your power of attorney. You could also place digital assets in a trust, to be managed by a trustee, or in your general estate, to be handled by your executor when you pass away. Your attorney can help you decide which approach for each of your assets or whether one of the three strategies mentioned above would be best for all of your digital assets.
When you would like to incorporate your digital assets into your estate plan, call Wichita attorney J. Joseph Weber today to set up an appointment for a consultation. We can be reached by telephone at (316) 265-7802, or you may contact us through our website.