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Digital assets and estate planning

Nevada residents should consider an estate plan as an essential component of a well-rounded financial strategy. The use of an estate plan can also give them a measure of relief and reassurance in knowing that they have done what is necessary to protect assets for their heirs.

Estate plans have typically featured wills, trusts and the designations of beneficiaries for financial accounts. Individuals who are creating or updating their estate plans should also make sure to include plans for what should happen with their digital assets.

It is not uncommon for individuals to have significant virtual assets, including website domains, digital purchases of books and movies, social media pages and email accounts. People should take the time to consider what will happen with the digital assets after they die and whether they have the necessary legal solutions in place to ensure that their loved ones will be able to access those assets and manage them according to their wishes.

Maintaining a list of passwords and usernames and making sure that a trusted family member or friend had access to the list used to be sufficient planning. However, any third party that has access to such information may attempt to gain access to the accounts.

The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act is a legal solution that is applicable in the majority of states. Individuals can appoint a fiduciary with a will, trust or power of attorney to access their digital assets before or after death.

An estate planning attorney may assist clients with ensuring that their estate plan addresses what should happen with the digital assets after death. The attorney may assist with drafting the proper legal documents that detail who should have authorization to the digital assets and how they should be handled.

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