1st Sep 2017
When it comes to digital assets, in the modern era, there are all sorts of assets that have to be kept in mind. Otherwise, you’re going to see very quickly that these are assets that are going to get into terrible trouble. This is the type of thing that too many people are going to find rather distasteful to discuss, but the sad reality is, if you don’t discuss it, you might come upon it when it’s way too late. The truth of the matter is the following: in the modern era, people are going to have assets that are more than just books, money, gold, and jewelry. People actually have all sorts of assets that are going to be able to be acquired when they become deceased, and among those that are coming into play are internet accounts, video game subscriptions, social media sites, and even digital files and information. This is something you should keep in mind if you have a well-built estate plan, because undoubtedly, if you do pass away unexpectedly, you’ll want to ensure that your loved ones will have a way to digitally access and preserve your assets that exist in the digital realm. Should you be unable to, the consequences are going to be very, very unfavorable. If you’re still unsure as to what digital assets should be a part of your estate plan, consider the following information.
Social Media Accounts
While most people might be unfamiliar with most of the social media sites that are growing in popularity in the present moment, there are a few that have emerged as mainstays that are as ubiquitous in our society as almost anything else. These are the kinds of assets that need to be kept in mind, because in the long run, you’re not going to be able to keep these assets functioning properly as in the long run, there will be a dearth of these kinds of accounts in those that choose to abstain from using them. For example, if you’re someone that just doesn’t care much for social media, you might just as easily discard and toss away your accounts without thinking about it.
While this is very common, the truth is, you’ll need to be aware that these are the sort of things that can actually have a lot of value in the coming decades and years. This is because as social media accounts become more and more common, more people will be dying with social media accounts to pass off. Now this may not be of much importance to you personally, but if you’re someone that relies on these accounts for a significant amount of income, if you were to pass them off, it might be the equivalent of passing on a very lucrative business or bank account. So if you have an estate plan, be sure to keep your social media accounts in there. If you pass them off to your offspring and ensure there is a legally binding way of doing so, you’ll ensure that those individuals will get direct access to them and will be able to use them for the ensuing decades as time goes on.
When it comes to the most likely social media accounts to pass on, keep in mind that Facebook and Instagram are going to be your most popular choices. This is primarily due to the fact that a lot of businesses tend to use these for spreading information, and if you’re someone that can make tremendous use of them, you’ll definitely have them to pass on when you pass away eventually.
Saved Data and Information
In the past, we had things called folders and filing cabinets. In the present era, almost all of our critical data and information is stored in folders, but instead of being gigantic lockers that take up half of our wallspace, they are stored safely on our computers. This revolutionary shift in how we store information has resulted in an entirely new phenomenon of what’s valuable and what isn’t. For this fact alone, if you have a loved one that passes away, you have to be aware of the fact that this individual might have very important data stored on their computer or phone. This is the kind of information that might keep some people awake at night, but rather than being afraid of it, is good to be aware of just how valuable this information is in making a decision as far as passing the information on when someone passes away. If you’re a businessman and if you have very critical data stored on digital folders, it’s important that the information in said folders get passed on, but in order to facilitate that kind of transaction, you need to make sure you have the right contractual set-up to make that happen. This is precisely the kind of thing estate planning was made for. So when planning your estate, make sure you keep an organized record of all of the digital information you have stored. If you have very sensitive or secure information, always remember that when planning an estate, you have a trusted lawyer who will not be able to share any of that information to anyone. This will ensure that you keep discretionary information secured from those that do not need to know. Overall, this is the kind of information that plenty of people tend to overlook, but in the event that you need to do a good job, you’ll be able to rest assured that your critical files and information will all be safely guarded from those that might otherwise want to do harm.
When it comes to estate planning, always make sure you keep some sort of itemized list of your digital items. Because people often keep everything digital, it’s hard to have a physical document or idea that establishes what stays and what gets passed on. Sure, estate planning is never a fun thing to do, but you’ll never regret having done it, especially when it comes to passing on digital assets to your loved ones.