What You Need To Know About Digital Assets
When planning for your loved ones after you pass, it can be overwhelming to remember to include everything. That is why it is so important to work with a licensed attorney to make sure the correct legal actions have been taken. Digital assets can be tricky! This is because access to digital assets is closely governed by a network of federal and states laws, in addition, by private agreements between users and service providers.
Of course, the majority of these laws are created to prevent misuse of digital assets. However, because these laws state the extent of authorized access for each digital account, these laws can make it difficult for a fiduciary or a third party to access the information.
What are digital assets?
‘Digital assets’ is a very broad term that can include a wide variety of online personal accounts. Some common examples of digital assets are email accounts, social media, airline rewards, hotel points, online photos, iTunes, and webpages. Don’t forget about your online purchasing accounts like Amazon and PayPal. Basically, your digital assets are anything that requires a login and password to access online.
How do I plan for digital assets?
A crucial step, that is often overlooked, is having a list of logins and passwords all in one separate document. This simple action will make it easier for loved ones to access the digital assets after you pass. When drafting the secure document, don’t forget to also include security questions and answers that might be asked of them for each account. You should also list the value for each account and whether you want any of them deleted or passed on to certain family members. Store this document in a safe place and make sure to include the location of the document so your family will know where to access it.
You may wish to grant broad power to a fiduciary in order to access your digital accounts or even limit the ability of the fiduciary to access those accounts. Many federal and state laws only allow disclosure of electronic documents if the person has expressly consented. Therefore, it is highly advisable to insert such consent into the will or trust!
Did you know?
Facebook does not allow others to share passwords or access different accounts. However, as of recently, Facebook now allows an account to be “memorialized.” This means that a deceased profile remains available only to Facebook friends and sensitive information is removed.
The average individual has 25 passwords! That is a lot to remember and often why digital assets can be so messy. Take the step today to get organized with your digital assets. As always, call me when you need a licensed attorney to get your digital assets in order. I can make this necessary process a little easier on you and your family.