Skip to main content

Digital Asset Planning: Strategies For Estate Planning With Your Digital Assets

When it comes to estate planning, we often think about physical assets like property, money, and personal belongings. However, in today’s digital age, it is equally important to consider our digital assets.

From online bank accounts and social media profiles to photos and documents stored in the cloud, our digital presence has become integral to our lives. That’s where digital asset planning comes in.

In this article, we will explore strategies for estate planning with your digital assets, ensuring that your online presence is protected and managed according to your wishes. We will discuss the importance of taking inventory of your digital assets, designating a digital executor, understanding digital asset laws and regulations, and ensuring the security and privacy of your digital assets.

By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively plan for the future of your digital life, providing peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.

So, let’s get started on this journey of safeguarding your digital legacy.

Taking Inventory of Your Digital Assets

Now that we’ve got our digital estate planning underway, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and take stock of all our digital assets, leaving no stone unturned. It can be overwhelming to think about all the different digital accounts and platforms we use on a daily basis, but it’s important to have a comprehensive inventory.

Start by listing all your online accounts, including social media, email, banking, and any subscription services. Don’t forget about any digital currencies or cryptocurrencies you may have as well. Taking the time to create this inventory will ensure that nothing gets overlooked when it comes time to distribute our digital assets.

As we go through the process of taking inventory, it’s important to approach it with a compassionate and understanding mindset. Digital assets can hold sentimental value, just like physical possessions. Think about the photos, videos, and messages that are stored on our devices or in the cloud. These memories are priceless, and it’s crucial to account for them in our planning.

Additionally, consider any online businesses or intellectual property that we may own. These assets may have significant financial value, and we want to make sure they are properly accounted for and protected.

While taking inventory, we should strive to engage with the process and embrace our subconscious desire for understanding. This is an opportunity to not only organize our digital lives but also to gain a better understanding of our online presence. We may discover accounts we forgot about or find old digital files that spark memories. By actively participating in this process, we can ensure that our wishes are carried out and our digital assets are handled in the way we want them to be.

So let’s dive in, be thorough, and create a comprehensive inventory of our digital assets.

Designating a Digital Executor

Ensure that you designate someone you trust as the executor of your digital affairs to safeguard your online presence after you’re gone. Choosing a digital executor is an important step in your digital asset planning strategy.

This person will be responsible for managing and distributing your digital assets according to your wishes. They will have access to your online accounts, and passwords, and be able to handle any digital assets you may have, such as cryptocurrencies, domain names, or digital media.

When designating a digital executor, it’s crucial to select someone who is tech-savvy and knowledgeable about the digital world. They should be familiar with different online platforms, social media accounts, and other digital assets they may possess.

It’s also important to choose someone who is trustworthy and reliable, as they will have access to sensitive information and should be able to carry out your wishes accurately.

Having a digital executor ensures that your online presence is handled properly after you pass away. They can take care of closing or memorializing your social media accounts, notifying online communities or friends, and even transferring ownership or managing your digital assets.

By designating a digital executor, you can have peace of mind knowing that your digital legacy will be taken care of and your online presence will be handled according to your wishes.

Understanding Digital Asset Laws and Regulations

Once you’re gone, it’s important to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding your virtual possessions. Digital asset laws are still evolving and can vary from country to country, making it crucial to stay informed.

These laws determine how your digital assets will be managed, transferred, or deleted after your passing. By understanding the legal framework, you can ensure that your wishes regarding your digital assets are respected and that your loved ones can access and manage them appropriately.

Digital asset laws cover a wide range of issues, such as privacy, intellectual property, and online account management. For example, some countries have specific legislation that grants executors access to a deceased person’s online accounts, while others require a court order.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the laws applicable to your jurisdiction and take the necessary steps to ensure your digital assets are accounted for in your estate plan. This may include creating an inventory of your digital assets, specifying your wishes for each asset, and designating a digital executor who can navigate the legal landscape on your behalf.

In addition to laws, it’s also important to be aware of the terms of service agreements and privacy policies of the online platforms you use. These agreements often dictate how your digital assets will be treated upon your death. Understanding these policies can help you make informed decisions about what platforms you choose to store your assets on and how you want them to be handled in the future.

Keeping track of any changes or updates to these agreements is also crucial, as they may impact the management of your digital assets.

Ensuring the Security and Privacy of Your Digital Assets

Securing and safeguarding the privacy of your virtual possessions is vital in today’s interconnected world. With the increasing reliance on digital assets, it’s crucial to take steps to protect them from unauthorized access and potential breaches.

One way to ensure the security of your digital assets is by using strong and unique passwords for each online account. This prevents hackers from easily guessing your passwords and gaining access to your valuable information.

Enabling two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your digital assets. This feature requires you to provide a second form of verification, such as a fingerprint scan or a unique code sent to your phone, before accessing your accounts. By implementing two-factor authentication, you significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access even if someone manages to obtain your password.

Furthermore, regularly updating and patching your software and applications is essential for maintaining the security of your digital assets. Software updates often include security patches that address vulnerabilities and protect against new threats. Neglecting these updates can leave your digital assets exposed to potential attacks.

In today’s digital age, securing and maintaining privacy for your digital assets is of utmost importance. By using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and regularly updating your software, you can ensure that your virtual possessions are safeguarded from potential threats.

Communicating Your Digital Asset Plan to Loved Ones

Sharing your digital wishes with loved ones can help ensure a smooth transition of your online possessions. It’s important to communicate your digital asset plan to your loved ones so they’re aware of your intentions and can act accordingly in the event of your incapacity or death.

When communicating your digital asset plan, it’s crucial to be clear and thorough. Start by making a list of all your digital assets, including social media accounts, email accounts, online banking and investment accounts, and any other online platforms you use. Provide your loved ones with instructions on how to access these accounts, including usernames, passwords, and any security questions or two-factor authentication methods you have in place. It’s also important to specify your wishes regarding the management, transfer, or deletion of your digital assets.

It can be helpful to appoint a digital executor or trusted individual who’ll be responsible for carrying out your digital asset plan. This person should be someone you trust to handle your online presence and follow your wishes. By discussing your plan with this individual and ensuring they understand their role, you can have peace of mind knowing that your digital assets will be managed according to your wishes.

Sharing your digital asset plan with loved ones may not be an easy conversation to have, but it’s an important one. By being open and transparent about your intentions, you can help your family and friends navigate the complex world of digital assets and ensure a smooth transition when the time comes. Remember to update your plan regularly as your digital assets and online presence may change over time.

Disclaimer: This material is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  Responses to inquiries, whether by email, telephone, or other means, do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create or imply the existence of an attorney-client relationship.

Written By
Matthew Reinaker
January 1, 1999