When Creating Your Estate and Asset Protection Plan, Don’t Overlook Your Digital Assets
We are living in a digital world.
And have been for a few decades now. In fact there are young people who have never seen or heard of a telephone that sat on a table that rang loudly and had to be answered. Some kids do not even know how to use or dial an old-fashioned telephone.
Just about everything is done digitally these days. Your entire world can be carried around in the palm of your hand. Even many who’ve not been weaned on computers, do have financial accounts that they manage digitally. Furthermore, they may organize and pay monthly bills online – from mortgages to club memberships.
Unfortunately, many people do not think to include their digital account access information in their wills or estate and asset protection plan or plans.
More and more attorneys are asking for this information and it will be common soon enough. But, at the moment it is still an area that is being overlooked with dire consequences. AARP has posted a thorough article about this subject on their website, which you can read by clicking here.
If you don’t care to read the entire article, I’ve pulled out the most important part, “Prepare (or revise) your estate planning documents to address digital assets and information. Ensure that all your documents (wills, powers of attorney and trusts) authorize somebody to be your “agent” for your digital life and your executor for your digital estate. For example, your documents may include language giving your chosen person authority to “access, control, use, cancel, deactivate, or delete Digital Accounts and Digital Assets, and to access, control, use, deactivate or dispose of Digital Devices.” This makes sure your caregiver would not be essentially hacking into your accounts by using your password and login information, but truly has legal consent to do so.”
At Felinton Elder Law & Estate Planning Centers we include a list of questions regarding digital assets that include financial accounts as well as photographs, music, films, artwork, and more. Give us a call to schedule a meeting to revise or create estate planning documents that include all of your assets.