The digital hereafter
Getting your "Internet house" in order
Just as your will or estate plan should set out clear instructions for your worldly goods, it’s now necessary in today’s technology-driven world to incorporate your digital assets into the estate-planning process. We explain why and identify some key considerations to create a more thorough estate plan that includes your digital presence.
What is a digital asset or account?
A broad definition of a digital asset is a document or other form of information that is stored on a computer (including a phone, tablet, smart watch) or online. A digital account is how you access those files. Chances are you have an email account, computer files and an online bank account. You possibly use at least one social media platform (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.), store photos on your cell phone or on iCloud, and download electronic books and music. The point is that each of us has a digital life or footprint to some extent. Now, consider what you’d like to happen to these intangible assets and online accounts when you die or if you become incapacitated: Can the assets themselves be transferred or bequeathed? Should the accounts be preserved or deactivated?
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