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Have You Considered Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneysIt seems that our reliance on computers and the internet grows stronger every day. If you are like most people, you probably use email, text messages, and social media to keep up with friends and family. You may pay your bills online, use your phone to deposit checks, and have loads of photographs stored on electronic devices.

Have you ever thought about what will happen to your digital life after you pass away? It is becoming increasingly important to include directions about digital assets in estate plans. Failing to account for these items in your will and other estate plans can cause your surviving loved ones unnecessary stress and expense.

Take Inventory of Your Digital Assets

It can be overwhelming to consider how your digital assets should be managed after you are no longer able to do so yourself. To get started, take inventory of all of your important accounts and files. Make a list of any:

  • Email accounts
  • Social media accounts
  • Files stored in “cloud storage” sites, such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Apple iCloud Drive, and Google Drive
  • Files stored on physical storage devices, inlcuding flash drives and external hard drives
  • Online financial accounts, investments, and online banking accounts
  • Digital medical records
  • Photo storage accounts, such as Photobucket or Shutterfly
  • Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin

It is also a good idea to compile a list of your digital liabilities. This includes weekly, monthly, or yearly app or website subscriptions, as well as any automatic payments you are signed up for. Make sure you write down the usernames, passwords, account numbers, and PINs associated with the assets and liabilities listed above so that your personal representative will have access to them when needed.

Decide Who Should Manage Your Digital Life

In addition to choosing an executor and trustees, you should also consider who you want to manage your digital life upon your death. You may choose the same person to manage these accounts that you have chosen as your personal representative (executor), or you could distribute the responsibilities another way. For example, if you know that a particular relative is especially tech-savvy, you may wish to have them manage your digital assets instead of the person who manages the rest of your estate. Then, the two individuals can work together when needed. The way you draft your estate plans is completely up to you. The most important thing is to start planning now.

Contact a Lombard Estate Planning Attorney

Failing to account for your digital assets in your estate plan could leave your loved ones with many difficult questions. Speak with an Illinois estate planning lawyer to get help with your will, trust, or other estate planning matters. Call 630-426-0196 today to schedule a confidential consultation with the accomplished team at A. Traub & Associates.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcarlson/2019/11/14/how-to-make-your-digital-life-part-of-your-estate-plan/

https://www.thinkglink.com/2013/08/30/estate-planning-and-social-media-what-happens-to-your-accounts/


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