Creating a thorough estate plan is integral to passing on your legacy. You have spent a lifetime surrounded by loved ones, and your estate plan allows you to offer support and peace of mind.
Some aspects of estate planning are simple; you know how to distribute assets like your house and other property. However, some assets are easy to forget and could slip through the cracks of your plan.
As digital transactions become increasingly common, it is essential to consider your digital assets in your estate plan.
Digital assets often go unclaimed
An increasingly digital life can be incredibly convenient. Whether your digital assets are media stored on a cloud-based platform, one of the many forms of cryptocurrency or an exclusively online bank account, it is essential to include them in your estate plan.
If you do not include digital assets in your estate plan, your friends and family may not know they exist. While your loved ones may know about other assets and where they can search for them, digital assets only take up virtual space. If your family does not know how to look for them, they will likely not find them.
What happens when digital assets go unclaimed?
When you do not include digital assets in your estate plan, there is a significant risk that your loved ones will not be able to claim them since they may be unaware of the account. If an account goes too long without any activity by the account holder (typically two or more years), it may escheat or be forfeited to the state.
Some digital assets die with you
When you think about digital assets, you may think about financial accounts, or you may think about your vast media library on one of the many cloud-based platforms. Unlike DVDs and CDs, there is nothing tangible to pass on with digital media.
You should look at the rules on each platform where you store your digital media. In some cases, you cannot pass on your account, and your loved ones will not have access. In some cases, platforms will allow you a certain number of downloads so that you can create a hard copy of your media to pass on to your loved ones.
Digital assets are an important consideration when creating your estate plan. You should talk to a skilled professional to ensure you do not miss any of your assets in your estate plan.