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Will planning should include digital assets

Computers, smartphones and tablets seem to be everywhere. People are posting to their Facebook account, managing their bank account and paying their bills while sitting in a restaurant or even walking down the road. Many Nevada residents have found that their lives are now intertwined with a number of digital devices and assets. With so much being placed into these digital devices and assets, including them in the will planning process could be essential.

As a part of this will planning process, the individual may want to create a list of all digital assets that have any value. This list should include bank accounts, insurance policies, email and other online accounts that the individual maintains. While this listing, along with specific instructions, should be included in the will, user names and passwords should be maintained separately. The reason for this is that a will eventually does become public information.

Other digital items to be addressed in the will planning process would be any social media connections that the individual maintains. Some individuals may wish to have their profile maintained as a memorial. Others may wish to have the account removed. Both of these options will require an authorized person making a request to the social media company.

Many individuals throughout Nevada rely upon their computers and smartphones in their day-to-day lives. They have become an integral part of daily life. The digital assets stored on these devices are an important consideration when it comes to the future and property distribution. By including them in the will planning process, the individual can ensure that his or her wishes are honored and save the family considerable time in trying to locate the information associated with these accounts.

Source: USA Today, "Estate Planning 101: Don't forget digital assets", Eric McWhinnie, May 25, 2014

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