Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Is Something Missing from Your Estate Plan? How to Keep 'Digital Assets' in the Family

TechIn this modern day, people can often be confused on what digital assets are. Not all of them fit into a neat little box, because some may have merely sentimental value while others may indeed have real financial value. Those with financial value can include Bitcoin, blogs that earn income, reward points for credit cards or airlines, etc. Digital assets that only have sentimental value include social media accounts (except for maybe the Kardashians), email accounts, and digital photographs.

To make sure that the important files or accounts are passed on to your heirs, you need to make an inventory. Then consider using a "password manager" on your computer or cell phone for these accounts. For Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there are several different cloud based wallets to store them.

Now, spouses and heirs cannot simply log on to your social media accounts if they know the login and password; federal privacy laws prohibit this. But Google and Facebook have settings where you can establish and name a person that will take over and oversee your account after your passing. As technology continues to find its way into different aspects of our lives, incorporating digital assets into your estate plan has become yet another way to leave behind a legacy that reflects a life well lived.

See Kevin Duncan, Is Something Missing from Your Estate Plan? How to Keep 'Digital Assets' in the Family, Fiduciary Trust, May 30, 2019.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

For more information, see here.


Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Wills | Permalink


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