Digital Assets – An Estate Plan for Your Online Identity
This blog shares an excerpt from the presentation that will be the third workshop of our FREE in-house “Estate Planning Workshop Series.” If interested in learning more to protect what matters, please RSVP 630.377.3241. We suggest attending all three workshops to get a comprehensive familiarity.
Part 1 ~ Tuesday, January 15, 2013: Celebrity Estates – Learning from the Good, Bad and Ugly
Part 2 ~ Tuesday, January 22, 2013: Trust University – All the Trust Questions You Were Afraid to Ask
Part 3 ~ Tuesday, January 29, 2013: Digital Assets – An Estate Plan for Your Online Identity
How does one open an invisible drawer or unlock something with an intangible key? How can you give away something that exists in the clouds?
The digital world that we live in causes some very interesting results when a loved one passes away and assets are intangible. In the past when a love one died, the survivors could locate their documents and prized possessions, such as a Will, financial statements and personal belongings by searching the safe deposit box, looking in the desk drawer or redirecting the mail with the U.S. Post Office. Asset collection is very different now because many of these treasured items that used to have a physical presence are contained within computers or virtual archives in the cloud. In our mobile society, it can be very difficult to locate an asset, or once located, to gain access without a password. This data is known as a “Digital Asset.”
Types of Digital Assets
• Textual Content such as email, bank accounts, blogs, social networking and gaming accounts.
• Image Content such as Kodak Easy Share, Shutterfly and Instagram.
• Multi Media Content such as movies, music, You Tube, Pandora, Netflix and Skype
With the basic understanding that digital assets are located throughout computer domains, much if not all of the information on your computer, phone and tablet is a digital asset. Most digital assets are accounts and services with licenses that will expire upon death leaving nothing to be distributed. Surprising to many users, we cannot and do not own our digital assets.
The process of planning for and protecting your digital assets can be complex because this area of the law is new to all of us, yet is based in very traditional laws that do not quite fit the current situation. However, leaving our loved ones with varied accounts and irretrievable information is not the legacy that any of us wish to leave behind. By planning ahead, you are taking steps to protect what matters in your digital life.
To learn more about digital assets and how to plan for them, please join us on January 29th for the in-house workshop that is sure to answer many of your questions and assist you in creating a plan that is valuable to you and your family.