The need for digital estate planning is fairly new, but it’s a significant and growing issue. From ownership of digital assets to control of email and social media accounts, the modern estate administrator has a lot of work to do in the cloud. Unfortunately, estate planning hasn’t fully caught up with this reality, and many people neglect to factor in their digital lives in the estate planning process.
Management of Digital Assets
Digital assets may take many forms. From cryptocurrency holdings that can be accessed only from a particular computer or with a key known only to the owner to digital albums filled with family photos, most estates include at least some digital assets. And, the prevalence of this type of asset is increasing as technology evolves and the population becomes more conversant in and comfortable with that technology.
Deciding who will receive actual assets such as your computer’s hard drive, your cryptocurrency and any intellectual property you’re storing in digital format is just one piece of the digital estate planning puzzle. You will also need to determine who will access and distribute those assets and how. And, you’ll want to provide for management of online accounts such as:
Facebook and other social media accounts
Business and retail accounts—particularly those with stored payment information
A comprehensive plan will help protect the person you entrust with digital asset management from small mistakes with the potential to create significant complications. For example, your representative will ultimately want to close your email accounts. But, if your primary email account is closed to soon, access to other accounts may be affected, since email is the standard means of recovering or resetting passwords.
Your Digital Estate Planning Checklist
While the specific digital assets and accounts involved and your plans for them will vary, this checklist will help you organize your digital assets and assemble the information your appointed representative will need. You can also use this checklist when you are preparing to discuss digital asset planning with your attorney.
Inventory all digital assets: Invest some time in this and keep a running list, rather than attempting to finalize your list in one day. Digital assets and accounts are often so varied and numerous that it’s easy to overlook some.
Create an organized list: Your list should include not only descriptions/account information, but also information about where the asset or account can be found, user name and password, and any other information required to access and manage the asset.
Decide who will receive distributable digital assets: Remember that digital assets often have rights attached. So, simply transferring the files may not be enough—you may need to bequeath the rights to a particular person in your will or transfer them to a living trust.
Determine how the assets will be managed: In some cases, you’ll have multiple options as to how to handle a digital asset or account. For example, Facebook and some other social media platforms have a legacy process, but that’s just one way of handling the account. Simply leaving your user name and password will allow your representative to log in and manage or deactivate the account, if that is your preference.
While organizing account information and other details is a good start and will put you ahead of the curve when it comes to digital assets and accounts, legal transfer of ownership may require more than simply providing access to a trusted person. Ask your estate planning attorney about how best to build digital materials into your estate plan.
We invite you to access the additional information and resources we have available to help you as you prepare to plan your estate, protect your family and your assets, as well as plan for your future needs.
Attorney Advertising. The information presented on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a legal advice. Viewing of, responding to, or otherwise transmitting the information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt of the same does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information provided on this website should not be relied upon without first seeking professional legal counsel. The information on this website is provided only as general information which may or may not reflect the most current developments of law. Prior results and cases discussed on this website do not imply and do not guarantee a similar outcome in any other case. The links to other websites contained herein do not constitute a referral or endorsement of any kind.
This Privacy Statement describes how Milvidskiy Law Group P.C. collects, uses, and discloses certain personal information obtained through our public web site at www.thelawofaging.com (the “Web Site”). This Privacy Statement does not address information collection through other sources such as in-person seminars, workshops, or in-person consultations and contacts.
Personal Information Collection and Use
In general, you can visit our Web Site without telling us who you are or revealing any information about yourself. There are times, however, when we ask for personally identifiable information from you, such as your name, company, e-mail address, phone number, and address (“Personal Information”). We request this information in order to correspond with you, to provide you with a subscription to a newsletter or publication, to notify you about events, or otherwise to respond to your requests or provide you with information that we consider may be of interest to you. Where applicable, we will differentiate between personal data fields that are optional and those that are mandatory to obtain the requested information.
If you receive a marketing e-mail from Milvidskiy Law Group P.C., you will be provided with an automated way to opt out (unsubscribe) from that particular communication or from all marketing e-mails sent by our firm. Please follow the instructions on the e-mail you received. If you have received unwanted e-mail from our firm, please forward a copy of that e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that if you reply to a Milvidskiy Law Group P.C. address in one of our marketing e-mails or otherwise send a communication to us, your communication will not create an attorney-client relationship with us. Do not send us any information that you or anyone else considers to be confidential or secret unless we have first agreed to be your lawyers in that matter. Any information you send us before we agree to be your lawyers cannot be protected from disclosure.
We may share Personal Information among our member attorneys for purposes of responding to your requests or otherwise as necessary for the purposes described above. We may also in limited circumstances share Personal Information with government authorities or others as required to protect the interests of the firm or others, as necessary in connection with the sale or transfer of all or a portion of the business, or as required by applicable law or court order.
International Data Transfers
This Web Site is hosted on a web server in the United States. If you are located in a non-US jurisdiction, your provision of Personal Information or other access to our Web Site constitutes your transfer of such data to the United States, a jurisdiction that may not provide a level of data protection equivalent to the laws in your home country.
Milvidskiy Law Group P.C. maintains appropriate technical and organizational security measures to protect the security of your Personal Information against the loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure or alteration.
Links to Other Web Sites
The privacy practices set forth in this Privacy Statement are for our web site only. This web site may contain links to other sites. Milvidskiy Law Group P.C. is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such sites. If you link to or otherwise visit any other site, please review the privacy policies posted at that site.
Cookies and Passive Tracking
A “cookie” is an element of data that can be sent to your browser. Your browser may then store it on your system based on the preferences you have set on your browser. Cookies gather information about your operating system including, but not limited to, browser type, and Internet Protocol (IP) address. The Web Site uses this information to analyze the traffic on our web site, and better serve you when you return to our web site. It is not our intention to use such information to personally identify a user. You have the option to configure your Internet browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, giving you the chance to decide whether to accept it. Further, you have the option to block all cookies. Please note, however, that if you refuse or otherwise block cookies you may not be able to use all of the functionality available on the web site.
Access and Correction
If you wish to access or update the Personal Information you submit through our web site, or to make any inquiries about the processing of such information, please contact us as described below. We provide individuals with access to their Personal Information where we believe appropriate, including in situations where you are entitled to access and review your Personal Information under applicable data protection and privacy laws.
Google ReCaptcha Spam Protection
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google.