Digital assets, or an individual’s online personal and financial records, need to be an essential part of your estate plan. Here are some planning pointers that most people have not considered.
WE ARE REALLY MOVING INTO THE DIGITAL AGE WITH OUR FINANCES.
As technology continues to develop, our daily activities increasingly rely on digital accounts:
- electronic storage,
- banking and
- bill paying.
HOW CAN THIS CREATE COMPLICATIONS?
What would you lose if your computer was stolen? What would happen if you could not handle your financial affairs – death or incapacity? Would your family be able to locate and access these assets?
Many people think that they can simply leave a list of usernames and passwords for their executors, not knowing that the executor will technically be committing a crime by accessing the accounts later on.
HOW CAN WE MAKE PLANS FOR ACCESS TO DIGITAL ASSETS?
Start with a General Power of Attorney and Last Will – authorize the agent/executor to access digital accounts – include such powers to:
- control and delete digital assets
IT SOUNDS LIKE A LITTLE BIT OF PLANNING COULD SAVE A LOT OF GRIEF AND FRUSTRATION LATER ON…
After a loss, no one wants to be battling an online company over access or trying to locate and gain control of web-based accounts.
- There is legislation aimed at solving this problem, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Access Act.
- Keep a good digital asset inventory, including account numbers and passwords, and provide that information to named fiduciaries.