As our lives evolve, so should our estate plans. After all, think about how different life looks for most of us than it did for previous generations. Technology, for instance, has had a huge impact that has affected countless aspects of our lives. It is no wonder that estate planning needs to evolve with many of those impacts. For starters, most of us, if not all of us, will acquire digital assets throughout our lifetimes and these need to be accounted for in our estate plans. Here is how to navigate the modern estate planning landscape and account for your digital assets.
Digital Assets and Your Estate Plan: Navigating the Modern Landscape
Think of everything you store on your computer and online. There are likely pictures and family photographs from years past. You may store creations such as art you made, music you created, and other artistic accomplishments. You may engage in online securities trading such as stocks, bonds, and more. You may have multiple social media accounts where countless memories are stored. These are just some examples of digital assets you need to account for when estate planning.
When estate planning for digital assets you need to make sure they stay secure, but the right people are aware that they exist and can access them if need be, such as after you pass away. This can be a delicate balance. These accounts may have different passwords, and should for security purposes, and different usernames. To simplify access to these different accounts while honoring the security integrity that these assets merit, consider using something like LastPass which means that with one password, a trusted person of your choosing can see what your various accounts are and the associated passwords. You should also consider listing your digital assets and detailing how to access them. Store this document in a secure place, such as a fireproof box, and make sure the right people, such as the personal representative of your estate, know of its existence and location.
With the rise of cryptocurrency, you may very well have crypto holdings such as Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency is like digital cash. If you do not take the proper steps to let your heirs or your personal representative know of your holdings and how to access them, they are likely going to be lost forever in cyberspace. Depending on the crypto you hold and how you want it distributed, you should account for this in your estate plan.
Estate Planning Attorney
It’s a new world. Digital assets are just as valuable as more traditional assets and should be planned for accordingly. At Verras Law, we develop comprehensive estate plans that account for your digital assets, tangible assets, and everything in between. You can count on us to create an estate plan that protects those you love and everything you have worked so hard for over a lifetime. Contact Verras Law today.