If you are preparing your will, you most likely have a lot of big decisions to make. Between trustees, guardians and your executor, drafting a will is not easy. Additionally, along with your financial assets, you must consider your digital assets as well. If this sounds like something that applies to your situation, read on for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding digital estates.

What digital assets should I consider?

If you have a computer or smartphone, there is a good chance you have a significant amount of data that you would either like to save or delete. The first thing you must do when considering your digital estate is to gather some of the following information:

  • Intellectual property, such as trademarks, copyrighted materials, and any other code you have written and own
  • Computing hardware, such as computers, tablets, digital cameras, external hard drives, digital music players, e-readers and more
  • Any and all domain names
  • Online accounts: social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram; online shopping accounts like Amazon; photo and video sharing accounts, video gaming accounts, websites you may manage, and more
  • Any and all information that is stored electronically, such as data stored in clouds, online, or on a physical device, such as an iPhone

What is a digital executor?

Your digital executor will be the person you appoint to manage your digital assets once you have passed on. This person must be someone you trust, as you will need to provide them with all your logins and passwords, physical devices, and more. You may wish to indicate in your will where your physical devices are located, as the executor in your will may appoint and inform your digital executor of all the information he or she needs to access your digital assets.

Can I protect my digital assets?

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect your digital assets. One of the safest ways to preserve your digital assets is by turning them over to a trustworthy attorney. However, if you wish to take another route, you may also transfer your digital assets into an online storage service. Additionally, provided you give your digital executor any necessary codes or combinations, you may even store your physical devices in a locked cabinet or safe. The bottom line is that if you have digital assets, it is your responsibility to ensure they are safely and appropriately tended to at the time of your passing. 

Contact our experienced New York firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.