Including digital assets in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2019 | Blog

People in Nevada spend more time online than ever before, and an increasing portion of their financial lives are also conducted over the internet. However, many individuals do not think about digital assets when they begin to consider planning for the future. When people make a will, they think about their real estate, jewelry, bank accounts or investment funds, but they may not consider the digital elements of their assets. However, this is an increasingly important part of a modern estate plan that can affect how effectively assets transfer to beneficiaries after death.

Estate planning can be important to help people manage their estates while alive and plan for the future. It can provide peace of mind to planners as well as their loved ones. However, while making an initial estate plan is a critical step in the process, it is not the end of the issue. Estate plans should be regularly reviewed to track changes to a person’s life, like births, deaths or marriages, as well as reforms to tax and estate laws that could affect the way people manage their assets. This is also an important time to review the information about digital assets like email accounts, social media accounts and online memberships.

There are important concerns when it comes to digital assets, including the fact that they are often owned or controlled by another corporation or entity. The practical issues of access raise additional concerns given the security processes implemented by many companies. This means that digital estate planning should include some kind of mechanism to access passwords.

Individuals who are planning for the future may want to think about additional types of property that go beyond traditional norms. An estate planning attorney can help people craft wills, trusts and other estate documents that are inclusive of digital assets.