We now live in a digital world. As a result, many things we hold dear aren’t physical. What happens to our digital assets when we die? That’s where digital estate planning comes in, explains Kiplinger’s recent article, “How to Tackle Digital Estate Planning in Four Easy Steps.”
Let’s look at the article’s four steps:
- First, some digital service providers have a tool or service to designate what happens to all of your assets after you pass away. One example is Yahoo’s inactive account manager, which can be used to designate a person to guide what happens to your digital assets.
- If there isn’t this type of tool, the owners’ legal documents should dictate what should be done with the asset.
- Next, if these two scenarios don’t help, the service provider’s terms of service should say how the executor can access those accounts.
- Before making a digital estate plan, you must understand what is included in your digital estate. Your digital estate includes all of your electronic and virtual accounts and assets, such as:
- Social media accounts
- Email accounts
- E-commerce and online store accounts
- Photos saved in the cloud
- Cryptocurrency keys
- Cellphone apps
- Domain names, blogs, and domains
- Text, graphic and audio files
- Other intellectual property
- Loyalty program benefits, like credit card perks
- Online banking accounts; and
- Gaming accounts.
Note that electronic bank accounts are also considered digital assets. However, the money in the bank account isn’t a digital asset. The same is true for cryptocurrency. The crypto account access platform, like Coinbase, is a digital asset. However, the actual cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin, isn’t a digital asset.
Reference: Kiplinger’s recent article entitled, “How to Tackle Digital Estate Planning in Four Easy Steps”