Digital Assets in Wills and Estate Planning

In the digital age, the concept of assets has expanded beyond physical possessions to include digital items ranging from cryptocurrency to social media accounts.

Therefore, considering these digital assets in estate planning is important.

This article explores the significance of including digital assets in wills and the challenges associated with their management.

What are Digital Assets?

Digital assets encompass a broad spectrum of items, including but not limited to:

1.    Financial Assets such as Cryptocurrency holdings, online bank accounts and investment portfolios held electronically.

2.    Intellectual Property such as digital artwork, blogs, ebooks, and any copyrighted materials.

3.    Personal Data such as social media accounts, email accounts, and digital photo libraries.

4.    Online Businesses

Why is it important to include Digital Assets in Wills?

  • Without proper documentation and instructions, executors may struggle to gain access to these assets, and to manage them. This may lead to potential loss or legal battles.
  • Unlike physical assets, which can be readily identified and accessed, electronic assets may be password-protected or subject to complex user agreements.
  • Privacy and data security. To protect against identity theft and online fraud, it’s crucial to keep sensitive digital information safe.

How can I address the challenges with Digital Assets in Wills?

  • Take proactive steps to incorporate digital holdings into estate plans.
  • Create an inventory of digital assets, including account information, login credentials, and instructions for their management.
  • Utilise online password managers or digital estate planning platforms to securely store this information.
  • Designate trusted individuals to manage your assets, including digital ones in the event of incapacity or death.
  • Updating your digital estate plans regularly is important. This will help you keep up with changes in technology, online accounts, and assets you own. Make sure to review and make necessary adjustments to your plans.

The inclusion of all assets, including digital ones in wills and estate planning is essential in today’s digital landscape. Plan ahead for your digital assets to make things easier for your loved ones after you pass away. This includes managing and sharing your digital assets so they can be passed on smoothly to your beneficiaries.

If you need help with your estate planning, Geldards have a team of experienced wealth and asset protection practitioners to help you.

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