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How to make an estate plan for digital assets

Digital assets are one of the most overlooked when Nevada residents think about estate planning. Many people may not realize how much money they actually have invested in their iTunes, Amazon or other online accounts. Without proper planning, these assets can be lost upon the account owner's death.

The first step to take is to make a list of all digital assets. It is important to include social media accounts and those that include books, music and movies. Online payment processing accounts should also be included. The user names and passwords to all of the accounts should be compiled in one location where it is accessible to at least one trusted person. That person may be named as a digital executor. The digital executor should be someone who is familiar with the types of assets they might be asked to manage.

Each online account has its own policies regarding how accounts of deceased members are handled. It is important for anyone making a plan for their digital assets to read the terms of service so they stay in compliance with them. When a digital executor is assigned, they should have all the information they need to get into the accounts and transfer data, update social media profiles or close payment processing accounts.

Laws regarding digital executors vary by state so it may be necessary to consult an attorney to ensure a will is valid. A lawyer who focuses on estate administration may review the documents as well as offer advice and guidance to the executor to help ensure that the decedent's digital assets are transferred to the appropriate recipient and email, social media and other relevant accounts are closed in a timely manner.

Source: Forbes, "Safeguard Your Digital Assets -- In Just 10 Minutes", Emma Miller, November 03, 2014

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