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What Do I Need to Know About Digital Estate Planning?

digital monitors

When planning for your end of life, it can be overwhelming to document all your assets. From the monetary amount in all your accounts to property and vehicles, planning your estate is a laborious task. Despite this, it is crucial to ensure you take the time to compile all your investments, including your digital assets. This is something many people forget, but creating your digital estate plan is vital to ensuring your wishes are met. Luckily, a Rockland County wills, trusts & estates attorney can help give you the peace of mind you need.

What Is Included in My Digital Estate?

Your digital estate plan details what you would like to happen to all your digital assets. You will leave detailed instructions on how to access these accounts to a named fiduciary, who is responsible for executing your wishes.  Your digital assets include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Social media accounts
  • Online banking
  • Rewards programs
  • Subscriptions
  • Documents and PDFs
  • Emails, text messages, and direct messages
  • Photos, videos, books, and music

Digital assets can also include reward points such as airline miles and cryptocurrency. Ensuring that these are used or distributed according to your wishes is essential to providing peace of mind.

In most cases, ensuring that your loved one has the necessary log-in information is crucial, so try to keep an up-to-date list in your plan. However, if they are named the fiduciary, they can petition the digital custodians of the accounts to grant access based on your legal documents.

How Do I Prepare My Plan?

In order to plan your digital estate, you will need to invest in the help of an estate planning lawyer. They can help ensure the process is legal and valid, preventing a headache for the person you appoint to execute your wishes. If you try to navigate the process on your own, you risk your plan becoming unenforceable.

You may also need to amend your current will to reference your digital estate plan document. Do not put your passwords or other sensitive information directly in your will, as it will become a public document after your death. This means your information will be accessible to anyone.

Once you have created and finalized the document, you will need to store it in a safe location. You may choose to keep it in a secure digital vault, a fireproof lockbox, or with your attorney. Regardless, your fiduciary should know where this document is and how to access it.

Enlisting the guidance of the Lauterbach Law Firm is recommended, as we can help ensure your digital estate plan is finalized to give you confidence that your wishes will be honored. Contact our experienced attorneys today to get started.

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