Digital assets and estate planning

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2017 | Estate Planning

Nevada residents who are putting together an estate plan should remember to include digital assets. These may include everything from music to Bitcoins to domain names. While some digital assets are mainly of sentimental value, such as photographs, the average worth throughout the world of an individual’s digital assets ranges from $35,000-$55,000.

Digital assets must be documented in different ways depending on how the estate plan is set up. For example, if the owner’s estate goes through probate, it is necessary to list the assets and their value for inventory. For an estate or generation-skipping tax return, these assets must also be listed.

Digital assets present a number of unique challenges including locating them and valuing them. While balances and credits with various online services and retailers may be straightforward, online businesses and similar digital assets might need an appraisal.

Along with digital assets, people may also want to leave instructions in their estate plan about what should happen with various social media accounts. Instructions should be left for accessing digital accounts including passwords. There are many other aspects of estate planning that go beyond traditional wills and trust planning as well. For example, people might want to leave instructions for end-of-life care. A living will can explicate what kinds of life-saving measures a person wants. They may also want to create powers of attorney that appoint people to take care of their finances and make health care decisions if they are unable. Another consideration might be items that largely have sentimental value. These can be included in the will even if they do not have significant monetary worth, and doing so might reduce the likelihood of family conflicts.