Digital assets are an important part of estate planning.
We live in a digital world.
We can carry the internet around with us in our pockets.
In fact, more than three-fourths of Americans access the internet daily.
According to a recent Forbes article titled “You Should Have An Estate Plan For Your Facebook Account,” more and more of our personal data and information is being stored online.
It can make life easier.
They may need to access your online banking, email, brokerage accounts, social media accounts, or frequent flier miles.
Family photos are primarily stored on devices or on the web, too.
Without access to these, your family will lose them forever.
What should you do?
Include your digital assets in your estate planning.
Gather any necessary information such as accounts and passwords, then give your executor access.
Even if they have your passwords, it may not be enough.
The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA) has been adopted by many states.
This statute requires express authorization before a vendor must allowing access to digital content.
This means you cannot access the information merely because you are related or the executor of an estate.
Does this sound like a lot of work?
It can be.
It can also be made easier.
You can use a password manager to maintain records of all of your online accounts.
You can set them up to provide access to an individual should you die or become incapacitated.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure the language in your will, trusts, or power-of-attorney documents includes provisions for granting access to your personal representative, trustee, and attorney in fact.
Review any policies for online service providers with your attorney regarding the disability or death of an owner.
Not all policies are the same.
Your attorney can help you navigate the specific policies in your various plans.
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 our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Forbes (June 3, 2018) “You Should Have An Estate Plan For Your Facebook Account”