How to account for digital assets in your estate plan

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2022 | Wills and Estate

Digital assets were once an incredibly niche form of personal property. They were easy to overlook when planning an estate. However, as people increasingly lead their lives online, digital assets have become more common and more valuable. If you don’t address your digital holdings in your estate plan, there can be major delays when loved ones try to access or transfer these assets after your death.

There are many different kinds of digital assets that you may need to address in your estate plan. There are domain names that you may own, either in relationship to a business you operate or as an investment. There could be digital currencies in your portfolio or even non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Additionally, you may have storage online that contains your personal intellectual property, ranging from written works to thousands of family photographs. Your estate plan needs to address those valuable digital assets to ensure that your family will have access to them.

Identify and value your assets

One of the first and most important steps for integrating digital property into your estate plan is to review what kind of digital property you own. Making a comprehensive list of your digital assets is an important first step. Putting a value on any assets that your loved ones may want to liquidate is also necessary.

Finally, you may need to review any contracts you have with service providers, like digital storage websites, to see if you need to fill out specific paperwork to allow others to access control over those digital assets when you die. Even your social media pages might be something you want to integrate into your estate plan. Having the right plan in place will ensure a smooth transfer of ownership or control to the appropriate parties.

Complicated property often requires creative solutions

The more complex your personal holdings become, the more challenging it can be to plan your estate. If you want someone to manage and oversee those digital assets instead of simply distributing them to specific beneficiaries, you may want to consider adding a trust to your estate plan. Otherwise, you may need to include any necessary paperwork for specific transfers, along with designations for individual assets in your will.

Addressing digital assets in your estate plan will take the uncertainty and stress out of estate administration for your loved ones.

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