Discover the importance of including your digital assets in your estate planning to ensure their protection and seamless transfer after your passing. Learn valuable tips and strategies to safeguard your online presence for the benefit of your loved ones.
In today’s world we are increasingly intertwined with technology. From social media accounts and online banking to digital photo albums and cryptocurrency holdings, we accumulate a vast array of digital assets over time. However, many people overlook the importance of including these digital assets in their estate planning. By taking proactive steps to protect your digital assets, you can ensure their seamless transfer and preserve your online legacy.
We must acknowledge the extensive role technology plays in daily life. Texas estate laws have been recently modified to account for digital assets. Fiduciaries of a deceased person have the ability to access the deceased’s digital assets and accounts.
In this blog post, explore the significance of including digital assets in your Texas estate plan. Also, learn six strategies to safeguard your digital assets and accounts.
What Are Digital Assets?
The first step in protecting your digital assets is to identify what qualifies as a digital asset. These can include:
· Online financial accounts (banking, investment, and cryptocurrency)
· Social media profiles (Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
· Email accounts and communication platforms
· Digital media such as photos, videos, music, and e-books
· Intellectual property such as blogs, websites, and domain names
· Online subscriptions (streaming services, online storage, etc.)
Why Include Digital Assets In An Estate Plan?
Including digital assets in your estate planning is crucial for several reasons. Failure to plan for these assets can result in financial loss, legal complications, and emotional distress for your loved ones.
Key considerations for digital assets include:
- Ensure access – Without proper planning, your loved ones may face challenges accessing your digital assets or valuable information stored online.
- Protect your privacy – By designating a trusted individual to handle your digital assets, you can safeguard your privacy and protect sensitive information.
- Preserve your online legacy – Preserve your social media profiles and personal blogs that hold sentimental value.
- Guarantee your wishes are carried out – Provide detailed instructions on how your digital assets and accounts will be handled. For example, you can decide if your social media accounts are deactivated or to remain active as a memorialized account.
Whatever you decide, you will need to designate someone to carry out your wishes. Additionally, you should provide them with specific instructions and prepare for their ability to access your accounts.
Six Strategies to Safeguard Your Digital Assets
Here are some practical steps you can take to protect your digital assets:
1. Create an inventory
Compile a comprehensive list of your digital assets, including login credentials and instructions for accessing each account.
2. Choose a digital executor
Designate a trusted individual to act as your digital executor, responsible for managing and distributing your digital assets.
3. Utilize password managers
4. Review service agreements
Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your online accounts, as some platforms may have specific provisions for transferring or deleting accounts after death.
5. Consult with an estate planning attorney
A certified estate planning attorney can help account for all your digital assets and make sure they comply with any federal and state requirements. Legal requirements for digital assets are somewhat new with cryptocurrency legislation taking effect in recent years.
6. Create legacy contacts
Assigning a friend or family member as a legacy contact will allow them to manage your social media accounts in the case of death. You can assign a legacy contact on your Apple iPhone and Google Inactive Account Manager. That way your legacy contact is someone you know and trust. And, this allows your loved ones to cherish and remember all memories stored on social media platforms.
Protecting your digital assets is an essential part of estate planning.
By acknowledging their significance and implementing proper strategies, you can ensure a smooth transition and safeguard your online legacy. Don’t overlook the importance of including digital assets in your estate plan. Take proactive steps to protect your digital footprint that provides peace of mind for your loved ones in the future.
Holman Law can assist you with your Texas estate planning needs, including the protection of your valuable digital assets. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Ask us how to preserve your digital legacy in an estate plan.