When it comes to your estate plan, you may think you have everything taken care of in your will and trust. However, you may be forgetting one crucial aspect – your digital assets! These often forgotten factors are essential to include in a digital estate plan. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, be sure to keep reading to learn more and discover how a Putnam County estate planning attorney can help.
What Should I Include in My Digital Estate Plan?
One misconception about digital estate plans is that they are virtual copies of your will or trusts. However, this is far from the truth. This document details what you would like to happen with all your digital assets.
Your digital assets include virtual documents, data, accounts, and subscriptions. All your photos, videos, books, and music also count toward your digital assets. You should include how you would like these assets collected and whether you would like them archived, deleted, or used (like taking advantage of accrued rewards points).
You will also need to name a fiduciary, who will be the person responsible for handling your digital assets after you pass. They will gain access to your accounts through digital custodians, so be sure to choose someone you trust. Your distal estate is different from your will which becomes public after your death. You will need to include the fact that you have a digital estate plan in your will, but do not divulge the details, as your passwords and access instructions could become public record.
How Should I Choose a Fiduciary?
Just as you would choose the executor of your will, you need to choose someone responsible and competent to handle your digital assets. They are responsible for ensuring that your wishes are met, so they should also know where the document is securely stored.
Many choose a loved one to handle their assets after their passing, but you can also name a bank or financial advisor as a fiduciary. However, you should know that it will likely cost extra to retain them for the position, where many loved ones will do it for a small fee that comes out of your estate.
How Do I Ensure the Legality of the Plan?
If you want to ensure that your digital assets are legally protected, ensuring you enlist the help of a competent estate planning attorney. The last thing you want is for your information to be lost forever because there was a slight error that invalidated your digital estate plan, meaning your fiduciary could not access it and handle your assets according to your wishes.
It’s never too early to plan your estate. Instead, contacting the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC, can provide the peace of mind you need to ensure your assets are taken care of after your passing.