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Planning for Your Digital Assets

Due to today's technology-driven world, we should all arrange for our digital assets and their distribution to be part of our estate plans. If you fail to plan for these assets before you pass, then your family could incur difficulty in gaining important information from your online accounts for the distribution of your estate.

Recognizing a need to plan for digital assets, some Internet websites have come up with solutions on how to deal with your online accounts upon your death. For instance, Google has an "inactive account manager" feature that allows you to designate trusted people who can view specific data from your accounts. Facebook also allows users to set up a legacy contact, someone who can post your obituary, respond to new updates, and archive your photos and posts after your death.

In any case, the first step in planning for your digital assets is to complete an inventory of all your online accounts and to document how to access them, including usernames and passwords. After compiling a list of all online accounts, you will need to find a safe place to keep your inventory-safety deposit box, with your estate planning attorney, or a storage organization. Lastly, in your estate planning documents, you should identify an executor or person al representative who you trust and is technically competent to handle your digital assets and follow your specified goals. After drafting the appropriate documents, you must notify the executor where the inventory will be stored along with any additional, necessary instructions. Taking these basic steps will assure that your digital assets are handled appropriately when the time comes.

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