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Addressing Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan: A Comprehensive Guide

As technology continues to evolve, the importance of addressing digital assets in your estate plan has become more crucial than ever. By taking the time to properly account for your digital presence, you can ensure your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are taken care of.

At Heritage Law Office, our experienced estate planning attorneys can thoroughly review your needs and wants when planning your estate, including your digital assets. Contact us either online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation today.

Understanding Digital Assets in Estate Planning

When people think of estate planning, they often focus on tangible assets like real estate, investments, and personal belongings. However, digital assets are becoming an increasingly important part of modern estate planning.

What Are Digital Assets?

Digital assets can include:

  • Social media accounts
  • Online banking and investment accounts
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Email accounts
  • Digital photos and videos
  • Online businesses
  • Websites and blogs
  • Domain names
  • Loyalty rewards programs
  • Cloud storage accounts

The Importance of Including Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

Failure to address digital assets in your estate plan can lead to numerous complications for your loved ones after your passing. Some potential issues include:

  • Loss of sentimental items, such as digital photos and videos
  • Inability to access vital financial information
  • Unauthorized access and use of your online accounts
  • Inability to manage or transfer your online business assets

By incorporating digital assets into your estate plan, you can prevent these problems and ensure your digital legacy is preserved and protected.

How to Address Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

There are several key steps to follow when addressing digital assets in your estate plan:

1. Create a Digital Assets Inventory

Make a comprehensive list of all your digital assets, including usernames, passwords, and any other relevant information. Keep this list updated and stored in a secure location, such as an encrypted file or safe deposit box.

2. Designate a Digital Executor

Choose a trusted individual to serve as your digital executor. This person will be responsible for managing your digital assets according to your wishes. Make sure to provide them with access to your digital assets inventory.

3. Provide Clear Instructions

Outline your wishes for each digital asset in your estate plan. Specify who should receive access, what should happen to the asset (e.g., delete, transfer, archive), and any other relevant instructions.

4. Utilize Legal Tools

Depending on the nature of your digital assets and your specific wishes, you may need to use legal tools such as wills, trusts, or power of attorney to ensure your digital assets are properly addressed.


Legal Challenges and Best Practices for Digital Assets

Digital asset laws and regulations are still evolving, so it's essential to stay informed about current best practices and legal challenges. Some key considerations include:

  • Online service providers may have their own terms of service regarding the transfer of digital assets upon death
  • Some states have adopted laws governing digital assets, such as the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA)
  • Privacy laws and regulations may impact the ability of your digital executor to access certain assets

By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can navigate these complexities and ensure your digital assets are properly addressed in your estate plan.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

If you need assistance addressing digital assets in your estate plan, contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Heritage Law Office. You can reach us using the online form or by calling 414-253-8500. We also offer remote, phone, and online appointments, so you can receive our services wherever you are.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we proudly provide legal advice to those in Milwaukee County and surrounding communities.

Milwaukee Office
757 N. Broadway, Suite 300
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Minneapolis Office
Minneapolis, MN 55104
414-676-2787 (fax)
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