Two reasons to include digital assets in your estate plan
A successful estate plan should be tailored to cover the owner’s entire estate. In this day and age, that means it should include provisions regarding digital assets. This expands beyond log-in information for social media accounts and email to include access to online banking accounts.
Our reliance on these forms of digital assets, in addition to the advent of Bitcoin and other forms of digital currency, highlight the need for language within an estate plan addressing digital assets.
If the many forms of digital assets we use in our daily lives aren’t enough to convince you to include digital assets in your estate plan, the following reasons may:
- Security. A recent publication in Market Watch discussed this issue, noting that a failure to provide this information to beneficiaries could put your accounts at an increased risk for fraud or hacking. This risk increases because no one is watching over these assets, no one is checking to make sure the security for these accounts is secure. If attempts to hack the account are made, no one is able to counter these attacks by increasing security or changing passwords. This can result in more than just the loss of pictures or emails; it can result in access to credit card information since accounts like Amazon have this information on file.
- Lost assets. Unfortunately, without providing this information and the ability to access these accounts to your beneficiaries, some of these assets could simply be lost.
Inclusion of digital assets is just one of the many areas a well tailored estate plan should address. As a result, those who are putting together or looking to update an estate plan are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced estate planning attorney to better ensure their plan provides for their entire estate.