Digital assets are a class of assets that have emerged with the everyday use of technology. While nearly all of us use computers for personal activities, very few of us understand the complexities of ownership as well as posthumous access to accounts such as social media. Despite not having the overt presence of a house or heirloom family items, digital assets play a real role in both your estate planning and your overall personal life planning.
Cheryl Winokur Munk writes for Forbes, “The trouble is, even when estate planning documents contain provisions for digital assets, locating the various assets can be a time-consuming and arduous task for executors if the decedent hasn’t properly prepared.”
While we emphasise how essential thorough planning is in this area, it’s far more nuanced than writing your average will. Certain accounts will require special provisions implemented in advance — such as social media — meanwhile there are also highly encrypted accounts that require sophisticated decryption codes for successful access even if an inheritor is nominated in a will.
Getting organized in this area can have these benefits and prompt the following:
● Force you to take stock of all of your digital accounts whether it’s deactivating and deleting those you no longer use, or, using the opportunity to improve security settings
● Properly organizing relevant personal files that have sentimental value that might be lost or deleted
● Discuss your digital assets with relevant loved ones that have high level requirements or associated functions the recipient should know about
I Will Solicitors developed this infographic, ‘Digital Assets and Estate Planning’, as a helpful explainer for managing this new class of assets. Whether you have an established understanding of your digital assets or you’re just getting started with cryptocurrencies, this graphic will be a valuable way to gain a thorough understanding of these assets as well as update your will. Don’t overlook how important this is in the context of your assets and making things easier for your loved ones.