Why is it important to include digital assets in estate plans?
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Why is it important to include digital assets in estate plans?

| May 27, 2021 | Estate Planning

Many people in Kentucky and throughout the country overlook the importance of dealing with their digital assets when establishing their wills and estates. However, more and more people do most of their business online. Without the necessary planning, successors may not have access to funds, customers and other digital assets.

Reasons to include digital assets in estate planning include the following:

Assets in the cloud

Without plans for transferring assets stored in the cloud, the extrinsic and intrinsic value could be lost. These could include cryptocurrencies, web domain names, blogs, pictures and videos, and establishing plans for their transfer is crucial.

Social media

Social media accounts might remain active and open for potential crimes by identity thieves after a user’s death. Users can select a person who will be authorized to access the deceased user’s account as a part of the user agreement with the provider. Alternatively, the estate executor could be given express orders to manage, delete or close the account.

Only some digitally stored assets are transferable

The owner of cryptocurrency, frequent flier points, account credits and similar assets could transfer it to the heirs. However, email accounts, phone apps, music and movie libraries are typically not transferable because the person was the authorized user and not the owner. During estate planning, it is an excellent idea to protect the rights by reviewing the user agreements of these accounts.

Other digital assets to deal with could include non-fungible tokens that require a trustee or executor to have the password or key to access the NFTs and underlying digital files.

People in Kentucky might find that addressing digital assets when they do estate planning instead of moving them to the back burner could provide peace of mind. Leaving it for later is never wise because the end of life can happen in the blink of an eye.