Your Digital AssetsYour digital assets are an important part of your longterm planning. With the scary reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are taking that extra time at home to review their estate plan documents. If it’s been a few years since you’ve reviewed your documents, you may be surprised at what you find. Even more relevant today is the provisions in your healthcare directives. Especially if you’ve been through a divorce or had other major life changes, you want to make sure that you have the right people making those important decisions if you end up incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself.

Another thing to look at if it’s been a few years is how are you addressing your digital assets. Have you changed banks? Do you use all new email accounts? There can be many changes to your online activity in a short period of time. A couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal had an article on including your digital assets in your estate plan.

Creating a Plan for Digital Assets

The WSJ’s article discusses four strategies you can use for your digital assets:

  • Re-examine your estate plan
  • Create a list
  • Keep that list safe
  • Choose the right settings

The first strategy is very straightforward. If it’s been years since you’ve even looked at your estate plan, now is a good time to review it. Another strategy is to create a list of your digital assets. I’m a fan of password manager apps to help with this. And it’s also a good idea to have a list of important contacts who your loved ones can contact. One place where I disagree with the article is with the third strategy’s suggestion to keep these lists with your estate plan in a safe-deposit box. If you are incapacitated (or dead), it will take a court order to allow someone to have access to your safe deposit box. Most banks won’t provide access without one.

The final strategy calls on you to check the settings on your online accounts regarding who can have access if you are deceased. One of the common questions I get these days is what happens to my social media accounts? Each social media has a platform their own policies for what happens. If you’d like to know more about those policies, it’s one of the topics I covered in my free report with my friend Tony on financial planning and estate planning. (The free report also covers a variety of other topics that you may want to consider as you review your estate plan)

With all this time on our hands while working remotely, it’s a good chance for you to review your digital assets and make sure you’ve got a plan for them…

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Next Steps

If you haven’t updated your passwords since George Bush was president (either one of them) and don’t have a will or health care power of attorney, call my office to set up a virtual Legal Strategy Sessionand we can review the best options for you – (877) AMAYERS.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.
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