How to create an estate plan for digital assets

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2018 | Estate Planning

Some people in Nevada who are creating an estate plan might primarily think about their assets as things like bank and investment accounts and real estate. They might not consider the large role that digital assets play in their lives. Digital assets may include various accounts as well as information stored on flash drives and mobile devices.

The first step in organizing digital assets as part of an estate plan is to make a list of all of them. This should include any domains owned, cryptocurrency accounts and external storage devices as well as access information such as passwords, encryption keys and access codes. The person should then list who will have permission to access various accounts and what should be done with them.

Putting someone in charge of email may be particularly important since this is where password requests will be sent. Gmail has an inactive account manager that will either delete data or notify designated people and give them access after a certain amount of time.

Social media accounts are another consideration. Facebook’s options include memorializing the account, after which no changes can be made, or designating someone as the legacy contact.

There are a few other aspects of including digital assets as part of an estate plan that a person should keep in mind. It is important to review a last will and testament and other estate planning documents regularly as families change to ensure that they remain up to date. This is just as important with digital assets. Otherwise, people may leave digital data in the hands of an ex-spouse or former friend without meaning to. It is also important to look at the terms of service of various sites. There may be certain procedures necessary to allow others to legally access the account.