In today’s digital age, protecting your online assets through estate planning is more important than ever. Online assets include social media accounts, digital photos, emails, and cryptocurrency. Accessing these assets after someone dies can be challenging or even impossible without proper planning.
If you have substantial digital assets, an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you catalog them and decide how you want others to manage them after your passing. Documenting your wishes in a clear and legally binding way can prevent potential disputes or legal headaches for your loved ones. Taking steps now can ensure a smoother transition of your online legacy.
What are Digital Assets?
Digital assets have become a fundamental part of our lives, holding not just financial value but also sentimental significance. In estate planning, these assets represent a unique aspect of our digital legacy, encompassing the personal, professional, and creative expressions we leave behind in the digital world. Planning for the transfer and management of these assets is an essential part of modern estate planning.
Examples of digital assets include:
- Social media accounts – These include profiles on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They often contain years of memories, photographs, and connections that are valuable to loved ones.
- Email accounts – Email accounts can be repositories of essential communications, personal memories, and information about other digital assets.
- Digital photographs and videos – Stored on cloud services or social media, these capture key moments and memories with immense sentimental value.
- Businesses –This includes e-commerce sites, blogs, or other revenue-generating platforms.
- Online banking and financial accounts – These include savings, checking, and investment accounts and digital wallets like PayPal. They often hold significant financial assets.
- Cryptocurrency – Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are assets that require special considerations due to their encrypted nature and fluctuating values.
- Digital music and book libraries – These are collections on platforms like iTunes or Kindle.
Arizona Laws and Digital Assets
In estate planning, you can include instructions in your will, trust, or power of attorney to ensure your property is handled according to your wishes. The Arizona Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act allows a person to give legal authority to someone they trust (a fiduciary) to manage their digital assets. Your fiduciary assumes this authority after you pass away or if you become incapacitated. This law makes it easier for chosen fiduciaries to access, manage, and protect your digital legacy in Arizona.
How to Create an Estate Plan for Digital Assets
Digital estate planning involves using tools like wills, trusts, and other instruments to safeguard your online assets. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can identify all your digital property and advise on potential fiduciaries to manage these assets after you die. Building a comprehensive estate plan can protect your wealth and reduce or eliminate the burden on family members to settle your affairs.
What Pennington Law, PLLC, Can Do For You
As technology advances, digital assets will become more a part of our lives. Don’t forget to include provisions for them in your estate plan. Let Pennington Law, PLLC, help you create a robust estate plan that accounts for all your assets and minimizes potential hardships for your loved ones. Contact us today for a free consultation with a skilled estate planning attorney.