Why you should include your digital assets in your estate plan

Law Blog

Many people include their real estate securities as well as any tangible property in their estate plan. Conversely, many people engage in online activities, potentially leaving one's digital assets unaccounted for or even prone to theft. Ideally, an all-inclusive estate plan should account for digital assets. Read on for further insight.

Digital assets

Digital assets can range from emotional yet financially trivial to assets with a significant monetary value. Discussion forums, blogs and comparable venues can be prized assets to some people. Email accounts may contain private information and correspondence that can cost companies considerable amounts of money if the details are revealed.

Files saved in the hard drives of computers as well as in the cloud may also be important. In this technological age, many people have social media accounts. Photos may be stored in several locations and videos can be saved on an online account. Equally, private information can also be stored in an online bank as well as investment accounts. People may also store medical and prescriptive information online.


A key consideration in respect to digital assets is how an individual can access them. An all-inclusive estate plan that accounts for digital assets should specify instructions on how to access these accounts. The testator, consequently, may need to write down a comprehensive inventory of their digital assets with usernames plus passwords that will be accessed upon his or her death. Then again, the testator can choose to make use of a password manager and then share the details with a trustworthy person of their choice or an estate planning attorney.

List of assets  

Similar to an estate plan that manages all tangible property, this process starts by listing down the type of assets and liabilities in digital form. By way of example, you can write an inventory of all hardware, backup discs, flash drives, digital photos and related tangible items. Then, you can specify where the numerous files are stored and what's contained in them, including client files or financial records. You should also include a list of websites, social media accounts, blogs and backup sites that you use.

Digital Executor

Digital assets in an estate plan should be handled by a digital executor who is technology savvy or who would be conversant with how to access the digital information. Note that the digital executor can be a different person from the executor who is appointed for the other assets of a testator's estate. The digital executor acts based on the instructions on how you want your digital assets treated upon your death. This may include closing down your social media account, deleting private files or passing on certain digital assets to your loved ones, including videos or photos.


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