Estate Planning in the Digital Age

Estate Planning in the Digital Age

There’s no denying that technology has come a long way. The digital world plays a huge role in all our lives. Social media, online banking and shopping all have a big impact on the way we live. It’s only logical that our many “digital assets” be incorporated into our Estate Plan. 

It’s wise to think about who will manage your digital accounts upon your death or incapacity. The Digital Asset provisions in a properly drafted Living Trust, Last Will and Power of Attorney plan makes it possible for the people you trust to pay your bills electronically. Without such provisions, your successors will lack the legal standing needed to gain access to your digital assets and take care of business for you.

Your digital assets consist of the following: digital files, photos and videos you may have stored in the cloud; your digital devices such as phones, e-readers and tablets; your social media and email accounts; your virtual currency, bank and online shopping accounts; and all your automatic bill payment, gaming, airline and hotel rewards accounts along with your blogs, websites and domains. You get the idea.  

Password keeper accounts, such as Last Pass, allow you to keep record of all your logins and passwords in one place. With just one login and password, the people you trust to manage your digital life are given access to all your account logins. It’s important to note that, regardless of the method used to keep records of all your account, that you remember to update the file regularly so that it remains current. 

Do you have a plan for empowering people you trust to access all your digital information? It’s fairly common to appoint a close friend, family member or Trusted Advisor as your Attorney in Fact with regard to your digital estate. But remember, your wishes must be in writing in order for your Agent to have the legal authority to log in on your behalf. Companies like Facebook and Microsoft allow you to designate a person who may log in to your account after a certain period of inactivity. 

Without a written plan for your digital estate planing, your social media and other valuable digital assets may live on without you. We’ve all received birthday reminders for friends and loved ones who’ve passed and wished we could make those reminders stop.  

“Life Planning” allows us to express our wishes and preferences in a wide range of areas that are important and unique to us. Planning for who controls our digital assets upon death or incapacity can make a big difference in the lives of our family and friends. 

For more information about adding “Digital Assets” provisions into your existing Will, Trust and Powers of Attorney, or for help creating a brand-new Life Plan, give us a call at (877)-438-7878. We’re happy to help you achieve peace of mind around ALL of your assets, not just the digital ones!

Life Planning, Inc. (LPI) is an Arizona Certified Legal Document Preparer (AZCLDP #81386) authorized by the Arizona Supreme Court to give consumers general legal information and legal document preparation services. We are not a law firm, we do not represent lawyers and we never give legal advice. All client information is treated as confidential – but not privileged information.

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