By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO
What will happen to your social media, email and other online accounts that might have financial or sentimental value after you are gone? Unlike my parents’ and grandparents’ situations, my children and grandchildren will not find my photo albums in an old chest in the basement or attic; instead they will find my chest of photo albums in my computer – that is – if I have given them instructions about how to find them before I am gone.
Digital assets include digital files which are stored on your computer, cell phone, a separate disc or on the internet. They include online accounts that require one to enter a user name and a password to access them. Digital files can be critical for identifying your assets, debts, heirs and friends. They likely will have either monetary or sentimental value. As you save more and more documents, photographs and other matters in a digital format, the importance of planning for passing on these digital assets to your heirs becomes increasingly more important.
Therefore, we encourage you to contact your estate planning attorney to discuss including provisions regarding your digital assets in your power of attorney, will and revocable living trust. Create a reference guide that includes a list of every site on which you have an online presence, along with your user names and passwords. Update it regularly as you add new sites and make changes in your passwords.
For additional information on this subject, click on this website: www.thedigitalbeyond.com. Other online resources related to the storage of digital assets and information about online accounts are:
Dealing with digital assets after someone dies has become a huge challenge both for families and the legal system in every state. As Christians dealing with digital assets is part of that estate stewardship responsibility about which the apostle Paul advised and warned in 1 Timothy 5:8. Therefore, let us not “deny the faith,” and be “worse than an unbeliever.”
For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1-(866) 489-3533
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.