Are you overlooking what happens to your digital assets when you die?
Twenty years ago most people would only have a handful of online passwords to remember. Today, our digital life is much different. We bank online, some have cryptocurrencies, pictures are stored in the cloud and our daily lives are interwoven with digital information.
Not everyone makes plans for their digital assets after they pass away, but they should. Here are a few reasons why.
- Movies, music libraries, emails accounts and phone apps are usually non-transferable upon death. These platforms own their content and have “permitted users”. If you have concerns about your rights if you pass away, you should look at these user agreements with your attorney as a part of your estate planning.
- Social media platforms manage deceased user profiles in different ways. Some platforms will mark a deceased user’s profile as “memorialized” and notify other users of the death. Other platforms will give the option of choosing someone to close your account upon your death. Otherwise, if there is no mention of digital assets in the will, your profile may be closed at the discretion of the platform.
- There are many businesses that operate solely online. Your successors’ access to funds and customers may be delayed without proper planning.
Prior to the digital revolution, it was part of aging to create documents that transferred assets and property upon death. Today, estate planning has evolved to consider and include digital assets and anything else that includes a digital or technological component.
Learn more about the role of digital assets, property, and technology in estate planning here.