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Do you have digital assets you should include in your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Digital assets have become a part of daily life. Most people don’t think of their Facebook accounts and similar entities as having value, but do you realize that if you own digital assets in Maryland, you need to include them as part of your estate?

What are digital assets?

Virtually everyone owns digital assets, beginning with your email, social media accounts and passwords. All have specific terms of use regarding access and control of data within. Everyone should understand how digital assets work for estate planning purposes. Make a list of your digital accounts, which may include:

  • Domain names and websites
  • Digital photos
  • Data stored in the cloud or on your personal computer
  • Your information that is stored anywhere on the internet

The above are the most common digital assets. However, they can also include:

  • Financial records stored in smartphones and computers along with electronic financial transactions
  • Blogs
  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
  • Digital rights to written, theatrical, visual and musical works
  • Online video channels producing advertising revenue
  • Online gaming avatars that may have real-life value

Why you need to protect digital assets

Just as the world has changed dramatically over the last several decades, so has estate planning and administration. You need to consider aspects that weren’t considered by U.S. law even 10 years ago. Not considering your digital footprint can make life difficult for your survivors as they may not be able to readily access your information. Your estate may have to go through probate.

If you haven’t considered your digital assets, now is the time to do so. Start by making a list of what you think your legal assets may be. Including them in your will or a living trust can make life easier for your survivors after your passing.