An increasingly important aspect of estate planning involves accounting for and transferring rights to your digital assets. While many people may not believe they have any such assets, they may be seriously deficient in accounting for some valuable assets in their estate plan.
What Are Digital Assets?
Digital assets are electronic data or information owned by an individual or organization. The uneducated may believe this only applies to cryptocurrencies, but it also includes such things as:
- Digital files or photos (books, presentations, documents, personal images, downloaded music, movies and more)
- Email accounts
- Social media accounts
- Online banking and investment accounts
- Online credit, payment or money transfer accounts
- Domain names and website materials
- Intellectual property
- Cryptocurrencies or other virtual currencies
- Anything in the digital realm that has demonstrable value
Turner Law in Decatur, GA, can help you identify valuable digital assets and consider which should be included in your estate plan and how they should be managed and distributed after your passing.
Managing Your Digital Assets for the Future
Your estate planning attorney can help you create a master list of all your digital assets. Then, record all your essential passwords for online accounts and other digital property. You may be surprised at how much value you possess in this realm, but some difficulties may arise with transferring ownership of certain assets.
For example, you may have “purchased” a digital asset, like a movie or a book, when you actually purchased a nontransferable license to use the asset. That usage permission may end with the death of the “owner.”
Federal, state and other laws may exist, as well as digital service provider Terms of Service (TOS) agreements, that restrict or prevent access to digital assets by anyone other than the account owner. You may wish to leave such assets to your beneficiaries only for them to discover they need legal access.
Your estate planning attorney from Turner Law in Georgia can help you review all online accounts and assets and determine their status. Then you can decide if and how to include them in your will, a trust or other estate planning tool. Sometimes, you wish to restrict or withhold access to certain digital assets or accounts. A simple blanket statement or authorization may not be appropriate or even legal.
Seasoned Assistance with Modern Estate Planning
Turner Law has the knowledge and skills to help you with this modern aspect of estate planning. Making provisions for these often-complicated assets now saves your beneficiaries numerous headaches and delays in the future. Schedule a consultation today with Turner Law to discuss your digital assets and how they must be handled. We offer an initial free phone consultation to answer your questions and are happy to help you create and maintain a secure, effective estate plan to protect your future and those you love.
Posted on the behalf of Turner Law, LLC