Should I Include Digital Assets in My Estate Plan?

Should I Include Digital Assets in My Estate Plan?

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There are a variety of assets that you must consider adding to your estate plan. In this day in age, adding your digital assets has become all the more important. Read on to discover whether you should include digital assets in your estate plan and how one of the seasoned New York City wills, trusts & estates attorneys at Zimmet Law Group, P.C., can help you in executing this.

Why should I include my digital assets in my estate plan?

More than you may think, you may have begun managing many of your assets online. For example, you may have transitioned to online banking, where you have managed your financial accounts (i.e., bank accounts, brokerage accounts, stock portfolios, etc) solely online. Another example is that you may have signed up for many online rewards programs, where businesses offer you points, cash back, or discounts for being a loyal customer. Such rewards may apply to your credit cards, as well. And after a while, these financial accounts and rewards programs can rack up a significant amount of monetary value. The following are additional examples:

  • Your social media accounts: this may include your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, or otherwise anywhere else where you conduct your electronic communications.
  • Your digital media collections: this may include any photos, videos, or music files that you have digitized and stored in a cloud-based system.

And though your social media accounts may not bring you any monetary income, they may hold valuable information and momentous that you likely want to be properly handled and administered in your estate plan. The same goes for your digital media collections, as they may hold great sentimental value to you and your loved ones.

How do I include my digital assets in my estate plan?

You would include your digital assets in your estate plan in the same way that you would include your physical assets. Likely in your will, you will make the following statements:

  1. You must state all the digital assets in your possession (i.e., financial accounts, rewards programs, social media accounts, digital media collections, etc).
  2. You must state all the access information for each digital account (i.e., your username, password, security answers, etc).
  3. You must state the beneficiaries of each of your digital assets.
  4. You must state the digital executor who will handle and distribute your digital assets to the appropriate beneficiaries.

It is important to note that even if your loved ones are aware of the access information for your digital accounts, they cannot legally enter them if they are not designated to do so in your will. This is one of the many reasons why including your digital assets in your estate plan is so critical. To get started, reach out to one of the competent New York City wills, trusts & estates attorneys today.

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