Why it is Vital to Include Digital Assets in Estate Planning
When it comes to estate planning, people tend to think of property, cars, jewelry and other personal belongings, but in today’s day and age, you also need to think about digital assets. Trust and wills both play pivotal and different roles in regards to estate planning, hiring a lawyer might be required in order to fully understand its process.Much of life is contained online these days so people need to think about their online footprint when creating their will and consider what they want to happen to these assets when they pass away.
What are Digital Assets?
So, what digital assets should be considered when creating a will? This can include anything stored in binary format that comes with a right to use along with items that are stored on your computer or any other device. This can include things such as:
- Email accounts
- Social media profiles
- Websites that you own
- Instant messages
Most People Not Including Digital Assets
Assets such as this have become hugely important in recent years, but despite this, a survey showed that 93% of people who have made a will did not include any digital assets in them and just 25% were aware of what would happen to their digital assets when they passed away. With many people having a lot of their life stored digitally, you will want loved ones to be able to access family photos, close social media accounts and able to access important information, especially when it comes to email and bank accounts for probate.
A good place to start is by creating an online “safety deposit box” and here you can include information on all of your digital assets, including passwords to different accounts and you can make this available to a nominated person after you die. You should also think about how you want financial and sentimental digital assets distributed as if you do not define this then they could end up in control of the state and it could create a difficult and stressful situation for your loved ones.
Speaking to Specialists
You should then contact financial planning and estate planning specialists to get started on creating a will that will include your digital assets. Creating a will is never easy, but it is made much easier by speaking to a specialist and should allow you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of and your digital and non-digital assets will be used as you wish when you pass away.
Many people overlook their digital assets when it comes to estate planning, which is problematic because this could create real issues for your loved ones once you pass away. Much of life is stored digitally in today’s day and age and many people have both sentimental and monetary digital assets which they need to consider when estate planning so that their loved ones will be looked after.