If you haven’t accounted for your digital property in your will or another document, you’re not alone. This is often overlooked when planning an estate.
Digital property can be broadly categorized as either personal or financial. Personal assets can include social media accounts, photo and video collections, blogs and personal websites. Digital financial property may include bank and investment accounts, a PayPal account, a cryptocurrency wallet, online bills, subscriptions, business websites and tax records.
CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES
When digital property is not part of an estate plan, numerous problems can arise. For example, any online bill payments will continue. Financial assets could be lost. Your digital record could be hacked for financial fraud or even identity theft. Furthermore, your family won’t be able to access treasured photos with sentimental value.
HOW TO PREPARE
The first thing to do is to make an inventory of all your important personal and financial digital items and accounts. You’ll also need to record all associated login information and passwords and keep them updated. State your wishes for any items where relevant, such as closing a social media account or making it a legacy account.
You should appoint an administrator to manage your digital property or assign the duties to your current estate administrator. Either way, you can record your choice in a clause in your will. The inventory and passwords should remain in a separate document because a will can become a public record. You can keep this digital property document in a locked cabinet or in password-protected electronic storage.
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