Part of being a grown-up is attending to a lot of unpleasant — but necessary — tasks. That includes getting your estate plans ready and making a will, designating your executor and heirs, establishing powers of attorney for medical care and finances and maybe even thinking about setting up a trust.
If you’ve done all that already, congrats! You have every right to be pleased with yourself. However, you may still be overlooking a critical component of modern estate planning: the disposition of your digital assets.
Almost everyone has digital assets that matter
Some folks dabble in cryptocurrencies (like bitcoin) and have amassed significant digital assets. However, even if you have nothing more than an email account and a few social media profiles, you have digital assets that are worth adding to your estate plan.
Consider the following questions:
- Who knows the passwords to your online bank account and any credit cards you use? Could anyone get into your accounts and stop automatic payments, if necessary? Even minor bills, like the Netflix account, need to be managed after you are gone.
- Does anyone have access to your photo files — especially those stored online? These days, a lot of family photos are taken on phone cameras and automatically uploaded to digital clouds. Without directions and a password, many of those precious memories could be lost forever.
- Who can control your Facebook account, Instagram account or Twitter feed after you are gone? Without the right paperwork, companies can’t just hand the controls of your social accounts over to your relatives after you are gone — which means they may continue to exist as painful electronic “echoes” in your loved one’s lives.
- How much important information is secured in your email account? Can anyone get into it if you aren’t there to direct them?
These are just some of the reasons you need to take control of your digital estate and add it to your other estate plans.
Whatever your estate planning needs, our office is here to help. Contact us with your specific concerns and let us guide you through the next steps.