It is important to prepare in advance for the end of your life, as it ensures there is a plan in place when that day comes. This is done with the creation of an estate plan. Within this plan may be a will, trusts, properties, life insurance policies, financial accounts, a designated power of attorney, and more. While many people keep this information in paper documents, digital estate plans have become increasingly popular with the growth of technology. As many people today manage their lives online, it is important to secure these assets in one place. The following are tips for creating a digital estate plan in order to protect your digital assets:
Create a List of Digital Assets
To begin creating a digital estate plan, an individual must take inventory of the digital assets they have. If they own a business, it is crucial that separate lists are made for personal assets and business assets. These lists can include:
- Computing hardware such as computers, hard drives, flash drives, tablets, smartphones, cameras, etc.
- Any information stored electronically
- Online accounts such as email, social media, photo sharing, shopping, storage, websites, blogs, etc.
- Domain names
- Intellectual properties
In addition to this, instructions should be left on how these assets can be accessed. This can include login information, passwords, and answers to security questions.
Outline Your Wishes
A crucial part of an estate plan is the instructions on how to manage the assets within it. This can include if they should be saved, deleted, or transferred after death. In the case of business owners, some may want to pass down the business or have it shut down.
Designate a Digital Executor
In order for a person’s final wishes to be carried out, an executor must be named to do so. The individual that is chosen for this task should be trusted to act in the best interest of the estate creator and their assets.
Store the Information Safely
It is important to store a digital estate plan securely so that it is protected but can be accessed when necessary. This may be with a trusted attorney, with an online storage service, or in a personal safe. In doing so, the executor should be informed of its location.
Formalize the Plan
An estate plan can be legalized by naming an executor in addition to the location of the estate plan within a written will. When this is done, it is important not to include any sensitive information within the will. This can include access passwords for the assets. This is because the document becomes public after the individual’s death.
Contact our Firm
If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.