How can I include a digital asset in my estate plan?

digital computers

When planning for the future, you may know the basics of what you must include in your will, from your car to your retirement accounts. However, have you considered what to do with your computer and digital information? It’s important to include how you would like your executor to handle these matters when following your will. Keep reading to discover what a digital asset is and how you can protect yours with the help of Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys.

What is a digital asset?

As technology has boomed since the late 1900s, digital assets are relatively new. It’s essential to understand what counts as a digital asset as this can impact the distribution of your estate.

Generally, a digital asset can be any data or external hardware with value. This value is subjective, as something like photos of a wedding may only be valuable to the creator. Regardless, they are still considered assets because of their intangible value. However, data like domain names, online stores, and rewards programs have a monetary value.

Digital assets include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Online banking information
  • Photos
  • Documents
  • Emails
  • Metadata
  • Social media accounts
  • Nonfingible tokens (NFTs)
  • Cryptocurrency

Similarly, hardware like the actual computer, tables, and external hard drives may also have monetary value for the equipment itself. The value of the physical device is different than the value of the data stored on the hardware.

How can I include these in my estate plan?

In order to include these in your estate plan, you’ll need to take the necessary steps. This includes making a list of your online accounts and log-in information, updating the preferences to ensure all the information is correct, and closing any accounts you no longer use.

Next, you’ll want to include a digital asset provision in your will. You can do this by leaving all the account log-in information with your estate plan, with additional instructions on how to log in. This includes the answers to any security questions or how to access two-factor authentication measures.

It’s essential to detail what you would like to happen to these accounts upon your passing. For example, you may wish for your social media accounts to be closed, or you may want a child to take over your online store. Regardless, just as you would leave instructions for other assets, detailing your online and digital presence is essential.

The process of creating an estate can be overwhelming for many. As such, it’s critical to understand that enlisting the assistance of an attorney can help you navigate this process. At Friedman Schuman, our dedicated legal team will work tirelessly to help ensure that your future is planned to help prove you the peace of mind you need.

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