How to Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan
August 31, 2016
Modern life for many Americans involves spending time – and managing assets – on the Internet. In fact, these days, you can manage bank accounts, retirement accounts and other assets online via clicks of buttons.
While this may certainly make asset management easier and more convenient in your day-to-day life, it may also create issues or complications in the future for your loved ones if your estate plan does not include details regarding your digital assets.
To help avoid these complications, below is some important information regarding how to incorporate digital assets in your estate plan. Although the following information is general in nature, please don’t hesitate to contact our Santa Clarita attorneys when you are ready for specific answers and information related to your estate and your best options for estate planning.Common Types of Digital Assets
Digital assets can vary widely, with some of the most common types currently including (but not being limited to):
- Bank accounts and banking information
- Credit card accounts and loan information
- Retirement accounts
- PayPal accounts
- Investment and stock accounts
- Business websites
Details regarding these accounts, as well as the following digital features you may use online, are important to include in estate plans:
- Email accounts
- Social media profiles
- Health care and/or insurance accounts
- Shopping accounts (like Amazon or Ebay accounts for instance).
Some of the specific details about the above-mentioned digital assets and features to incorporate in your estate plan include (but may not necessarily be limited to):
- The specific types of digital assets you hold
- The login information, including the username and password, for each account or asset
- The answer(s) to any security question(s) associated with each account or asset (This can be important if or when these accounts or assets are being accessed on new computers or devices).
Here, it’s also important to point out that, for some accounts:
- You can automatically add on other users so they have easy access to these assets in the future.
- You can designate beneficiaries who will to automatically take possession of the asset upon your passing. For example, this may be possible with checking, savings and retirement accounts.
When people fail to include digital assets in their estate plans, it’s far more likely that:
- Their executors, personal representatives and/or beneficiaries will not be aware that these assets exist.
- Executors and/or personal representatives will experience extras challenges to accessing these assets.
- These assets can disappear or be overtaken by online identity thieves, hackers, etc.
When you need experienced help devising a comprehensive estate plan or administering/settling an estate in California, it’s time to contact the trusted Santa Clarita attorneys at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman. Our lawyers are ready to provide you with personalized, responsive estate planning services to meet your needs and goals.
Find out more about our services and your best estate planning options during a free, no-obligation initial consultation with one of our attorneys. You can set up this meeting by calling (818) 892-7093 or by filling out the contact form on this page.
From offices based in North Hills, we provide the highest quality legal services to clients throughout Los Angeles County and the state of California.