Many Buffalo area residents have taken the time to complete their estate plan. They understand that having an estate plan in place is important in order to preserve a person’s assets, communicate their wishes and designate powers of attorney. In addition to these items an estate plan should also include a person’s digital assets.
In this day and age digital assets can be an extremely important part of a person’s life. In estate planning, digital assets are now an integral part of the process. Digital assets are generally defined as any online record that a person owns. Financial accounts are a major portion of digital assets. Many banks are now online along with digital payment options such as Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, etc. Online rewards programs can also be an asset. Many companies have online rewards for their loyal shoppers and over time these rewards can add up. Electronic communications can also be part of an estate plan. Social media accounts and email should be included in an estate plan with instructions as to what to do with them after a person’s death. Finally, digital collections can also be valuable. They can include downloaded music, videos, photos, and books. These should be included in an estate plan because they can have a great deal of sentimental value.
Digital records are important items to be included in a person’s estate plan. Although they don’t fit the typical idea of an estate plan with wills and trusts, if they’re not included it can lead to family members having problems with accessing these assets after a person’s death. A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can review their client’s estate plan and make sure it is comprehensive. They can advise their client as to what assets need to be included in a plan and make sure that digital assets are included along with appointing a digital executor.
Digital assets have become an integral part of an estate plan. Buffalo area residents should make sure their estate plan includes information as to how these assets should be allocated.