The world has drastically changed with the technological boom of the last 1990s and early 2000s. Not only has the internet changed the way we stay connected and shop, it also impacts estate planning! Though you know you must include your funds and property in your will, you may not know how to handle your digital assets. If you’re unfamiliar with digital assets, you’ll want to keep reading. You’ll learn what they are and why you must include them in your will. You’ll also discover how a Pasco County, FL estate planning lawyer can help you through this process.
What Are Digital Assets?
Digital assets are a relatively new concept in estate planning. These are any digitally represented asset that has value. It’s important to understand that just like physical property, digital assets have both monetary and sentimental value. For example, photos of a first birthday have no monetary value but are valuable to the person who took them. Digital assets include:
- Social media account
However, these assets can also include things of quantifiable monetary value:
- Nonfungible tokens (NFTs)
- Online rewards programs
- Online stores
- Bank accounts
It should also be noted that items like computers, external hard drives, USB sticks, CDs and other devices that hold digital data can be assigned monetary value. However, these appraisals are separate from the value of the items stored on them.
How Can I Include Them in My Estate Plan?
Ensuring you include any digital assets you have in your is essential to protecting your property and providing for your loved ones.
The first step to protecting your digital assets is to take inventory of all accounts and anything of value. You should note the location of each of these assets, including how to find and access any files on your computer. You should also list the login information for any accounts you would like handled after your passing. This includes the security questions and any two-factor authentication steps. Taking inventory also allows you to close out any old or unused accounts, making the process more simple.
You’ll then include all this information in a digital asset provision. This allows your digital executor to follow your written instructions on how to handle your accounts. For example, if you have an online business, you may want your child to take over the business. You’ll need to leave your wishes and instructions in the provision.
As the internet and the laws surrounding it are constantly changing, it’s imperative to enlist the help of an experienced attorney when dealing with digital assets and estate planning. At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, our legal team is dedicated to helping you plan for the future. Contact us today to get started and achieve the peace of mind you deserve.