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Even if you do not consider yourself the most technologically savvy, you may possess more digital assets than you may initially think. With this, you must figure out how to include them in your estate plan. Follow along to find out how to incorporate digital assets and how a proficient New York City estate planning attorney at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can help you in doing so.

What are examples of digital assets?

First of all, digital assets are considered anything that exists only in digital form, that comes with distinct ownership, and that is discoverable. Your digital assets may include hardware and data. Examples of both are as follows:

  • Hardware: this is considered digital equipment that may have monetary value in addition to the data that they store.
    • Computers.
    • Tablets.
    • Phones.
    • External hard drives.
    • Flash drives.
    • Digital cameras.
    • Digital music players.
  • Data with monetary value: this is considered the digital information that is stored on your hardware that may provide an income.
    • E-commerce accounts.
    • Income-generating websites.
    • Intellectual property.
    • Online payment systems.
    • Accounts with accumulated rewards points.
  • Data without monetary value: this is considered the digital information that is stored on your hardware that may hold sentimental value to you and your beneficiaries.
    • Personal photographs.
    • Personal videos.
    • Personal documents.
    • Social media accounts.

You may think that your online financial accounts are included in your digital assets (i.e., bank accounts, credit card accounts, brokerage accounts, etc). But in reality, these are simply a means of accessing your real assets. Nonetheless, it is still important to disclose that these accounts exist, along with directions for how to access them.

How do I incorporate digital assets into my estate plan?

You must understand that it is not enough for your loved ones to simply know the access information to your digital accounts (i.e., usernames, passwords, security answers, PINs, etc). This is because they cannot legally access your accounts unless they are listed as the designated beneficiaries in your estate plan. Therefore, not incorporating digital assets into your estate plan is a critical oversight. So, it is in your best interest to take the following steps:

  1. Make a list of all the digital assets you have in your possession.
  2. Provide the access information alongside each listed digital asset.
  3. Declare the beneficiaries you wish to designate to each listed digital asset.
  4. Declare the digital executor to handle and digital each listed digital asset to the rightful beneficiaries.

As you may likely conclude, setting up your digital assets is similar to setting up your real assets. Regardless of this fact, a talented New York City estate planning attorney is ready and willing to stand by your side throughout this planning process. Contact Zimmet Law Group, P.C. today.