If you have an estate plan, chances are quite good you made specific arrangements for assets like your home, life insurance, retirement funds and perhaps even a business interest. What about your “digital assets”? Have you made proper arrangements for them?
Thankfully, more information is coming to light about the consequences of failing to make plans for digital assets. If this is a new subject matter for you, then you will want to read a recent MarketWatch article titled “Who gets your digital fortune when you die?”
Basically, your digital “fortune” includes all of those digital assets that make up your digital presence. There are the social and practical ones, like e-mail accounts, Facebook accounts, and whatnot. From there your digital estate may include assets with real monetary value, like PayPal or eBay accounts, investment accounts, full bank accounts, and maybe an online-only bank account or two. While we are at it, remember the accounts that themselves represent your ownership of digital “goods,” to include that massive Kindle library or an iTunes account. What happens to these?
Without proper planning, your digital assets can easily become loose ends, losses and even liabilities. Unless you leave instructions behind, how will your heirs inherit your digital estate (let alone know it even exists)? There is no time like the present to get your digital ducks in a row.
Speaking of getting your "ducks in a row," check out www.myducks.org for a nifty organizing tool to help you get your digital assets organized.
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) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: MarketWatch (January 10, 2014) “Who gets your digital fortune when you die?”