Would you believe the average online American has 25 accounts, according to a Microsoft study. Would you believe that 72% of us have an online presence or use social media.
We are a plugged in people.
And that has estate planning ramifications, too.
What happens to your online life when your earthly life ends?
In addition, uniform state laws are likely coming down the pike as well.
As reported in a recent Philly.com article, titled “Social Media After Death,” in many instances management of social media accounts after an individual passes away are handled by the executor of the estate.
Because digital assets are really part of the estate and, consequently, they should be treated like any other assets by the executor.
Not so fast.
Depending on where you live, the issue of digital asset management may also be further complicated.
Currently, there are 19 states with laws on the books protecting digital assets and how they are handled after you die.
In addition, as I hinted above, there are some advocates trying to standardize the manner in which digital assets are handled across the states.
The Uniform Law Commission (UFC) is working on this.
Nevertheless, until this legislation is adopted, the original article suggests that you talk with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Your attorney will have the latest information regarding how the digital assets of a decedent are handled in your own state.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit my estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Philly.com (July 24, 2015) “Social Media After Death”